Stress Film Reaction: Portrait Of A Killer

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Film Reaction

The film depicts an exclusive Jack the Ripper brutally butchering women in London East End slums (Whitechapel). The film shows a sadistic butchery. This implies that the mind of the killer was sociopathic in nature. The firm indicates several instances in which ‘Jack the Ripper mutilated, assaulted, humiliated, and fully demonstrates a full abhorrence for the female gender (Sapolsky, 2016, YouTube film) The negative action (physical creation of harm) is well executed that the identity is left mythical in the film. The murder cases showed close similarities (persuasion of sexual payments, luring into secluded streets or square and slicing of the throats) that suggest that one potential killer was likely to engage in the slum killing and female murder cases. However, the degree of the execution of the murder cases left hardly a sign of identity. The law enforcement officers in the slummy areas seemed powerless in stopping the potential killer, and his activities were escalating in violence from one victim to the other.

‘Jack the Ripper’s’ violent behavior or the evasiveness to commit physical harm on others is dependent on the cognitive processes. ‘Jack the Ripper’s’ actions were because of the negative physiological response that aroused negative reactions. For instance, ‘Jack the Ripper’s’ experienced sexual motivate wave which was incited by alleged possibility of the congenital abnormalities. The congenital abnormalities (stressing factor) compelled Jack the Ripper to develop negative actions channeled on brutalization, attacks, mutilations, and decapitation of women. Ripper’s actions were as a result of the deteriorating mental health issues, triggered by stressing events that stimulated the negative responses.

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Relationship of the Film to Class Material

In an evaluative view of the film, positive and negative states are bivariate. Stress is a moderator the relationships and the effects become coupled under conditions of high stress (Slide 4). The graph on slide 4 (Stress Performance Connection), suggested that the affective reactions to the stimuli become more inversely correlated when the effects were high and interacting with the higher arousal. Additionally, the emotional states involve many processes and variables, the focus on the negative emotions indicate that the high levels of stress will ultimately lead to negative arousals which increase the probability that an individual will be more inclined to negative actions including physical harm to others. In the film of Jack the Ripper, the negative effects of stress are imminent; mental exhaustion and illness compelled Jack the Ripper to develop the feeling of distrust, rejection, anger, anxiety and depression (Slide 8). The mental state compelled Jack to engage in the physical harm of others.

Similarly, because of the stressful events, an individual develops the cumulative or additive effect. The stimulus context conditions lead to a state of an independent or inversely correlated effect that entails the state of cognitive simplicity or complexity existing in the person, and that mental state is related to the presence of stress, which reduces system complexity. The biological activation systems are independent, but the conditions and factors may require an overt response that may shift the system to bipolarity or bivariate outcome.

Learning Insight from the Film

Based on the “Portrait of a Killer Film,” capacity to create harm indicate an evidence point in which human disinclination of harming others in predicted by difference levels of in negative response depending on the degree of stress and the intensity of the stressing factors . The film suggests that specific factors elicit a negative response of harming; this implies that the harmful reactions increase peripheral vasoconstriction. The disinclination of harmful action goes beyond the concerns of empathy for the victim harm. For instance, in the case of Jack the Ripper, disinclination harming is ordinary human functionality, which is stimulated by deviant behavior of the psychopaths and in the event of harm. It is insightful to determine the psychological state of the person and determine the potential factors that elicit the negative reactive responses such as committing murder. The physiological response may be positive or negative, depending on the intensity of the stressing factors. The physiological reactivity of a person is linked to the general aversive state associated with the stress-related factors; the automatic changes such as the changes in the prefrontal context is associated with the negative stress reactivity, which may compel an individual to engage in physical harm.


  1. Chapter 3: Stress Lecture Material. Student Version Fall 2019 PowerPoint.
  2. Sapolsky, R. (2016, February 21st). Stress, Portrait of a killer. Accessed from


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