Examples Of Cognitive Dissonance In 12 Angry Men

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Using Cognitive Dissonance to Facilitate Jury Deliberation Eleven jurors in the movie 12 Angry Men are ready to convict immediately following the trial of a boy charged with murdering his father. One juror is not ready to cast his vote to convict or acquit without conversation because it is the jury’s sworn duty to deliver a guilty verdict if, and only if, the jury finds the defendant guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. However, the rest of the jurors are hot, tired and eager to finish the case and move on with their lives. The twelfth juror relies on cognitive dissonance to entice the rest of the jurors into discussion before deciding on the fate of the young man on trial. Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort felt when one’s thoughts and actions are incompatible with their belief. The twelfth juror is relying on cognitive dissonance to cause discomfort in the jurors’ way of thinking, …show more content…

The desire for consistency can go beyond rational thought or force a person to rationalize when things are out of line. People find comfort in knowing what to expect. When what is known and believed is challenged, people are disrupted and forced to make a decision on how to process conflicting information. To avoid the discomfort caused by cognitive dissonance, people may ignore opposing views, examine and change their views to maintain consistency with their actions or even seek reassurance (Defining Communication Theories, 2001). The jurors are faced with making a decision regarding a 19-year old man who is accused of murder, a grave offense and a duty that should not be taken lightly. Though the judicial system is trending toward more stringent prosecution of juveniles, history shows that juvenile rehabilitation efforts are ineffective (Beschle, 1999). Juries often make quick decision based on emotions, limited information and resist changing their minds (Craigie,

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