Twelve Angry Men: Review

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  • Topic: Jury, Deliberation, Hung jury
  • Pages : 4 (1240 words )
  • Download(s) : 141
  • Published : November 20, 2007
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The behaviour of individuals in any large dynamic group naturally exhibits various signs of either conscious or subconscious conformity. The psychological principle of conformity which related to social influence basically refers to an exertion on the will of the affected individual to act in a manner that is not in accordance with one¡¦s actual beliefs. Many different studies of conformity as a result of social influence have been conducted which reveal that almost all conformist responses to social influence can be narrowed down to three distinctive types: compliance, identification and internalization. This paper will use 12 Angry Men as a case study on the dynamics of social influence, especially the influence of individual nonconformist, on social conformity.

The film 12 Angry Men is a claustrophobic tale of what happens during jury deliberations following the trial of a young man who is accused of murdering his father. The plot is about how a dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the other members of the jury that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court. The opening scenes portrays a one-sided opinion of the jury that the defendant would most likely to be proven guilty. Hitherto, the conviction of the accused would be without a doubt. An initial vote on guilty/not guilty is then conducted and the result ends up in 11-1. There is one lone dissenter who reveals that he votes for ¡¥not guilty¡¦. The dissenter further explains that his not-guilty vote does not imply his belief in the innocence of the accused. Alternatively, he believes that the fate of one man¡¦s life deserves discussion of some time and a more thorough study on the evidence. It does not take long to reveal that many of the men has come to the jury with predisposed prejudices, personal reasons for ending the proceedings without thoughtful deliberations, or other psychological problems that may affect the impartiality of their judgment. The relevant...
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