Breakfast Club Psychology

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In the movie “The Breakfast Club” there are several social psychological principles occurring during the course of the film. The film focuses on five students, Claire, Brian, Andrew, Allison, and John, or “Bender” as he more commonly referred to. The students arrive at their high school to serve a Saturday detention sentence. The central plot revolves around each of the characters personal lives, personal characteristics, and relationships, and how they each develop over the course of the film. While there are several social psychological principles that were present in the film the major principles that truly stood out included: the cognitive dissonance theory, stereotypes, and conformity. Each of these principles can be seen in several …show more content…

The scene occurs after Claire takes Allison into the bathroom and gives her a makeover. The scene includes Claire wiping off the normal dark makeup Allison wears and replacing it with softer makeup that was more socially accepted at the time, she also fixes her hair into the ideal hair of that time. Later, Allison emerges post-makeover and both Andrew and Brian are struck by the “new” Allison and pay her several compliments. Towards the end of the film, Allison and Andrew have a romantic encounter which Andrew initiates as he is now more attracted to Allison after her makeover. Conformity is what happens when individuals behave and act in accordance with the socially accepted standards. In this particular case, Allison changes her appearance due to normative social influence. Normative social influence is when an individual is influenced to change their behavior in order to fit into the group and to be liked and accepted by that group. In this scene Allison allows Claire to change her appearance in order for her to fit in and be liked by the group, specifically Andrew. The main influencer on Allison was Andrew as she expressed interest in him, however, he only thought of her as “the freak” and was not attracted to her. Andrew and Claire appear to be somewhat friends as they hang out in the same social group. This social group is assumed to be the “popular” group and in order to fit into this group the individuals must behave and appear in specific ways. Because of this Allison would have never fit in with that group, and therefore would not have grabbed Andrew’s attention. So, to allow Claire, who is a part of that group, to make Allison look like her, allows Allison to conform into that group and be liked by them, more specifically to be liked by Andrew. After Allison’s makeover Andrew shows much more attention and

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