A Clockwork Orange Psychological Analysis

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The 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange, consists of many psychological concepts. Two concepts in particular seem to have the biggest impact and role throughout this film. These concepts being, classical conditioning and the idea that our environment and our experiences of nurture are what shapes us. A Clockwork Orange is the story of a group of young men who take pleasure in committing crimes and causing others to feel pain, they call themselves the “Droogs”. Alex, the group leader, suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder, a disorder also known as “psychopath”. Alex has no regard whatsoever for the rights of others and the rights of society; the behaviour mentioned is common amongst psychopaths. Alex, spent his youth stealing, torturing,…show more content…
For a film that was made in 1971, the presentation of the effects of classical conditioning is quite accurate and allows the viewer to understand both the positive and negative results of using classical conditioning methods. However, the type of classical conditioning used in this film is inaccurate to real world conditioning procedures. The classical conditioning used in this movie is a fictional type of aversion therapy referred to as the “Ludovico technique”. This technique has the subject (Alex) strapped to a chair and injected with drugs while having his eyelids forced open while a number of disturbing images are flashed in front of him, all to the music of Beethoven's Ninth symphony. The technique used in 1971’s, A Clockwork Orange is a brainwashing technique and is completely fictional. Therefore, the way this conditioning technique was carried out, and the results of this technique are inaccurate to real world psychological conditioning practices. The goal of this treatment was to condition the criminal subject to have feelings of strong distress whenever he or she experiences feelings and urges to act violently. The idea of classical conditioning is to make the subject understand that with…show more content…
From the beginning of the story it is clear that there is a lack of an authority figure in Alex’s life. His parents seem to be emotionally absent, they do not question their sons lack of school attendants, nor do they question where he is and wants he is doing late at night. Alex had a very relaxed upbringing and was allowed to do whatever, whenever with no consequences. The “Droog" gang members also had a negative impact on Alex’s decision making and problem solving abilities. Growing up with this lack of authority and the inability to differ between right and wrong is the ideal environment for the makings of a psychopath. Alex has no real connection with anyone; no one has ever been there to guide and teach him that there is a better path than the one he is on. He is overlooked by everyone in his life and has never had a meaningful relationship with anyone. The environmental and nurture concepts would both agree that Alex is a product of the world around him, apathetic and selfish. The 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange is a classic piece of work in the world of psychology. The story appropriately represents the concept of classical conditioning and the concept that our environment and upbringing is what shapes a person. This movie accurately presents the negative and positive affects of classical conditioning on a
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