Mean Girls Psychological Analysis

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The movie Mean Girls is a perfect example of many social-psychological principles. Three of the major principles that are seen in the film include: conformity, in-groups and out-groups and prejudice. Cady Herron, a naïve sixteen-year-old who has been homeschooled her entire life, is forced to start as a junior at North Shore High School because of her family’s job relocation. Throughout the movie, you see Cady struggling to maintain acceptance in the school’s in-group known as The Plastics. The Plastics, who represent popularity, high economic status and the acclaimed standard of beauty, are one of the meanest cliques at North Shore. When Cady is befriended by this in-group, she quickly starts conforming throughout the movie to the standards…show more content…
In Cady’s case, this is exactly what happened. Cady changed her appearance and overall behavior to fit in with The Plastics to avoid being rejected in her new environment. What was a deciding factor in her conformity was the realization that The Plastics were the representation of the popular and favorable in-group at North Shore.
Although this principle of conformity results in public compliance with the group’s ideas and behaviors, it does not always result in private acceptance of the same ideas and behaviors [Social Psychology, 2014]. This was seen towards the end of the movie as Cady began to realize her conformity resulted in her being known as the North Shore’s bully and “mean girl.” At the end of the movie you see Cady realizing what her conformity has done to her social identity and begins to change her conformed attributes and apologize for her
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The in-group over values its personal abilities and underestimates the abilities of its opponents (aka the out-group). An example of this is when Regina isolates the members and states they can only talk to similar in-group members that she approves. Towards the middle of the movie, Regina is observed watching Cady as she talks to two out-group members (Janice and Damien) while they’re in line to buy candy-grams. Regina immediately injects herself into the situation, pulls Cady aside and says, “um, Cady? Why were you talking to those losers?” This dominance and out casting is a perfect example of
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