A Psychologist at the Movies

Imaginary people have problems, too.

“Remember the Titans:" Can Football Reduce Racism?

In "Remember the Titans," football leads to reduced racism. Does this accurately portray research and theory on eliminating prejudice? Read More

"Remember the Titans" was an enjoyable movie, but...

It bore almost NO relationto reality.

First, the movie made it appear that the Titans had to fight ahard against numerous obstacele to make integration succeed. In reality, things went MUCH more smoothly than people would guess from watching the movie. Coaches and players alike insist that the big fights shown in the movie never happened in real life. Almost all of the players, black AND white alike, had played for and aginst integrated teams before. Hence, team intergration entailed FAR less animosity and caused FAR fewer problems thatn the movie would have us believe.

Second, the movie makes the Titans' season look far more challenging than it was. The Titans were a POWERHOUSE that not only defeated but MANHANDLED all their opponents. They went undefeated, and NONE of their games were really close.

The screenwriters had to CREATE obstacles and turmoil, because the truth was surprisingly tame: integration went off without a hitch and the Titans won the state championship without even working up a sweat.

Reply to Astorian

Hi Astorian,

First, thanks for reading and posting. As I said in the blog, of course the movie is just "loosely based" on reality. I'm more concerned with how psychological ideas are portrayed in the film than I am about historical accuracy. I'm sure a historian would disagree with this priority, though!

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Wind Goodfriend, Ph.D. is a social psychologist at Buena Vista University, with research expertise on stereotypes and on romantic relationships. more...

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