The Sixth Sense
The movie The Sixth Sense tales the narrative of Malcolm, a Child psychologist who goes
through a phase interaction with a child he deemed delusional to try and solve his mystery. The
story can directly be used to explain various psychological theories especially in relation to
learning and factors that inhibit this. Throughout the movie, The Audience can clearly see the
influences that direct how a person perceives various events and occurrences in their life. It is
well brought to light the various transactions that direct or limit what perception an individual
has over something and how their past experiences can lead them to view certain events in such a
The whole movie revolves around the life of Malcolm a child psychologist who comes
home after being rewarded for his exemplary work in treating children with psychological
conditions. He is however made by a boy by the name Vincent who claims that the psychologist
is responsible for his troubles. The visit ends up shooting Michael and also commit suicide. The
following morning, however, Michael wakes up and goes to work to meet with Cloe, another boy
who has psychological issues. Cloe sees ghosts of dead people working during the day as though
they were alive and at first Michael thinks that the boy is delusional and finds no need to help
him. However, after recording that he hears he comes to realize that this might be the truth and
offers to help Cole by asking him to find out what the ghost needs and try to help them solve
their problems. Cole ends up solving problems for many other people including leaving was who
almost died, for example, a girl who was almost poisoned by her mother. This enables him to
fulfill his purpose by helping various individuals.
Michael, on coming home one of the evenings realizes that He's talking to his wife and
also recalls receiving information from Cole that dead people only see what they want to see. It
is from then on that he realizes he was actually shot by Vincent and is able to locate his gunshot
MOVIE SUMMARY 3
wound and finds out that he actually died. This also makes him realize that he has achieved His
purpose end finally disappears in a flash of light. There are numerous lessons regarding learning
that could be described in the movie in terms of psychology.
The aspect of defense mechanism is clearly brought out within the movie especially in
the case of Michael. As described by Cole, dead people choose to see what they want to. It is
clear that Michael suppressed the thought of his death which is shown from the culmination of
the movie where he has achieved His purpose. The greatest fear for him in life was achieving his
goal of helping people with psychological issues. The thought of dying or even being blamed by
Vincent for failing to help himself his issue was one that he could not easily stomach compared
to his great desire to help children. He, therefore, opted to suppress the truth because they were
not desirable. It is common for people to suppress and desired experiences they have had in life
because this helps them to cope with the situation much is easily compared to if they have to
actively deal with the situation head-on (Cramer 2018). Another key lesson is related to Cole
Who at one time so the experience is he was having with dead people as undesirable. After
interacting with them for a while and helping them solve their problems he started seeing this as
a desirable gift. This experience is comparable to classical conditioning where there is positive
reinforcement (Prout et al. 2018).
MOVIE SUMMARY 4
Cramer, P. (2018). Change in Children's Self Confidence and the Use of Defense Mechanisms.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 206(8), 593-597.
Prout, T. A., Gottdiener, W. H., Camargo, A., & Murphy, S. (2018). The relationship between
defense mechanisms and religious coping using a new two-factor solution for the Defense
Style Questionnaire-40. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 82(3), 224-252.
Shyamalan, M. N. (Director). (1999). The Sixth Sense [DVD]. Hollywood Pictures.