Psychology Today recently published a fantastic look at the social psychology of The Hunger Games, in which Mark van Vugt, a professor of social and organizational psychology at the VU University Amsterdam and a research associate at Oxford University, looks at the various social psychology lessons taught in The Hunger Games. There’s an excerpt from this great article below as well as a link to the full article on Psychology Today.
The Social Psychology Behind The Hunger Games
A great way to teach our students important theories and concepts in psychology is through the use of fiction. Drawing from plots and themes of well-known novels or movies can help them gain insight into important psychological phenomena such as memory (Memento), autism (Rain Man), leadership (Braveheart) or prejudice (The Color Purple).
I remember, as a psychology undergraduate student, being taught a class on Group Dynamics with the aid of William Golding’s famous novel Lord of the Flies. The story is about a group of British school boys stuck on a desert island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results. Week by week we would discuss important social psychological concepts such as power, status, leadership, conformity, and intergroup conflict and connect them to important events happening in the book as the story unfolded.
The Hunger Games is the modern equivalent of Lord of the Flies.
For those readers unfamiliar with the story –rather unlikely in light of all the publicity–the Hunger Games (a novel written by Suzanne Collins) follows the main character, Katniss Everdeen, as she participates in a grueling contest, the Hunger Games. These games take place in a fictitious nation, Panem which consists of the wealthy Capitol and 12 poorer districts. As punishment for a rebellion against the Capitol in the past, from each district one boy and one girl are selected by annual lottery (Reaping) to participate in the Hunger Games.
Continue reading this article here: Social Psychology in The Hunger Games
Or Read our complete guide to positive psychology movies