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12 Angry Men Film Analysis

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12 Angry Men Film Analysis

12 Angry Men Analysis

By Papichaya Warintarawej



Assignment: 12 Angry Men Film Analysis

As far as the film goes, I think it is an excellent case to tie into many concepts we have covered throughout this course. Through heated arguments that take place, the film illustrates the initiation of social influence and group interactions and the impacts on people's attitudes, reflected in their behavior. 12 angry men features a case of an 18 year old kid who was accused of murdering his father. As the story progresses, the conflicts, shaped by the characteristics and perceptions of the jurors, builds up and determines a child's fate.

Given the case above, the film began with a decision; the jurors were given a choice to vote whether the child is guilty of the crime. From what is shown, no one voted for the first few seconds. But after a moment of thoughts, some juries began to raise their hand taking their stances; at this minute, others start to change their minds. Soon after, it was apparent that 11 jurors voted guilty; and only one maintained his stance that the child was in fact, innocent. Now, what explains the fact that the 11 jurors all happen to agree that the child was guilty? This features a psychological concept called social influence, leading to a trend of conformity. The pressure builds up as the majority leans toward one end of the decision; and you yourself soon feel the need to agree with the majority, even if deep down you have different thoughts; yet, you're afraid to stand out above the crowd. In this specific case, after seeing the first few jurors vote and agree that the child must be guilty, the rest of the jurors comply to social pressure and decided to be consistent with the rest of the group.

To dig deeper into the effect of such conformity, "Asch's Line Judgment" can be a tool in helping us understand the social influence's impacts on people. What was common among all the jurors was that they were all faced with the same decision, with two possible outcomes: guilty vs innocent. If we take a closer look, jury number did not have personal opinions about the situation at all, or at least, not yet. However, instead of taking the time and effort to consider the case and coming up with his own decision, he let the social pressure get to him and forced him to "go along with the crowd"; in other words, to be like everyone else to escape from possible disapproval, even if that means being wrong and screwing up a child's future for good. This concept illustrated is called normative influence. Similarly, coupling up the juror number 5's logic, some jurors were visibly seen to have changed their minds and voted differently than what they were leaning towards initially. Even though their minds might still stick to their old thoughts, they put more importance on what others thought

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