The breakfast club is a comedy/drama from 1985 about five high school students that spend a day of Saturday detention with each other and their principal. The group is very diverse and each student comes from a different social group. Each teen has a label they’ve been given from being in high school, John Bender “The Criminal”, Claire Standish “The Princess”, Brian Johnson “The Brain”, Andy Clark “The Athlete”, and Allison Reynolds “The Basket Case”. In the beginning of the movie each student judged the others based on their stereotypes, but at the end of the movie after they had gotten to know each other they realized they’re not that different from each other and actually help and understand each other which relates to the term cognitive dissonance
the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.
In one of the first scenes the students arrive at detention that morning and Mr. Vernon had already stereotyped all of them based on their appearance. The stereotype leads him to form a prejudice on each student. He then began to discriminate against them and show disapproval and severity towards them. The principle then starts to single out John Bender in the beginning of the movie because he’s labeled as the “criminal” and none of the other characters help him which demonstrates the bystander effect.
The character John Bender appears in the movie to be impulsive, aggressive, and emotionally instable in almost every scene. Later in the movie it shows that he receives physical and verbal abuse from his father at home which explains his behavior at school. Bender show symptoms of borderline personality disorder. He has instable relationships with his family and girlfriends he can’t from strong relationships. The main feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a prevalent pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and emotions. People with borderline personality disorder are also usually very impulsive, oftentimes demonstrating self-injurious behaviors which can stem from his trauma to home. Bender also fall under the fundamental attribution error which is the tendency for people to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics (personality) to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation rather than considering the situation’s external factors.
Allison Reynolds “The Basket Case” shows symptoms of antisocial personality disorder. She is reckless, deceitful, and disregards others. She is a Kleptomaniac causing her to have urges to steal things. She may also be schizophrenic, her way of thinking is somewhat disorganized and she is a compulsive liar, she also shows inappropriate behavior’s and emotions throughout the movie. Allison can be found on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs under the love and belonging category since it is revealed in the movie she is only in detention because she has nothing better to do and came to Saturday school for a way to feel belonged for the reason that she’s ignored by her parents at home and everyone else at school.
The character Brian shows symptoms of depression. He was sent to detention because he was caught with a gun in school and was planning on committing suicide. Brian has low self-esteem and feels forced to get good grades to please his parents.
In the movie The Breakfast Club there are various social psychological theories and concepts that describe the inner selves of the characters throughout the entire movie