Kung Fu Panda in the Eye Of a Social Psychologist

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Movies enact realistic social situations and serve as social learning tools, especially animated ones that are being consumed by both young and adult audiences. The movie that will be discussed in this paper is "Kung Fu Panda".

First theory that will be introduced in this paper analyzes social groups, which exist when two or more persons interact with one another, share common goals, are interdependent to some extent and recognize that they belong to a group, as defined by Paulus (1989). The group presented in "Kung Fu Panda" movie is "The awesome five" – warriors who live in training temple and follow common goal of being the best defendants to their land and eventually making it to become "the dragon warrior" – a desired respectful
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And second dimension is the one employed to the "real" situation in the movie, where the members of the group experienced "contact hypothesis" – an increased contact with the "outsider" Panda, a process described in study of Pettigrew (1981).

Since this contact proceeded under certain conditions, it served to correct he stereotype activated and helped recategorize Panda from "out-group" to "in-group". The conditions working for decreasing prejudice (e.g., (Aronson, Bridgeman, &Geffner, 1978; Schwarzwald, Amir, &Crain, 1992) contain equality in social status ("the awesome five" and Panda were elevated to the same status during those events), the contact between them involved dependence and interdependence (they were told by authority that only cooperation will help them all together defeat the evil warrior and they had to train all together), the contact permitted them to know each other as individuals (they communicated quite a lot and got to know personal traits of each other), there were norms favoring group equality (once the master insisted on Panda being the dragon warrior – he received the status of equal), they might have viewed one another as typical of their respective group, but we will never know that for sure.

The idea of recategorization
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