Twelve Angry Men Essay

Twelve Angry Men Essay

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The story begins outside a courthouse in New York City. An 18-year-old boy is being prosecuted for allegedly stabbing his father to death. A weary judge discusses with the jury and informs that they must decide wether or not the boy is guilty of his crime, he also informs that should they find him guilty, he will be sentenced to death. In the beginning, eleven of the twelve jurors find the boy guilty, however, through intense discussion, the remaining eleven are persuaded to a not-guilty verdict. “Twelve Angry Men” highlights many social psychology concepts, specifically: conformity, persuasion, and fundamental attribution.
Conformity is a dangerous mechanism, especially within the presence of a jury room. A major motif throughout “Twelve Angry Men,” the power of normative social influence and informational social influence is evident throughout the deliberation. Normative social influence is defined as: “conforming in order to be accepted or liked by a group, not necessarily because one actually believes the things one is doing or saying.” (Fournier) while informational influence is defined as: “conformity that occurs when a person accepts evidence about reality provided by others” (Bradshaw) In class these concepts were demonstrated in [6-2 & 6-4], the class in 6-2 demonstrated normative influence by holding a conversation with fellow classmates until we were instructed to stop. We were then asked to guess how long the conversations were, as each student answered, the range of numbers became smaller as more students gave lower numbers. Many students conformed because they didn’t want to appear as an outlier and wanted to fit in with the rest of class. An example of normative influence in “Twelve Angry Men” takes place when the...


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...e boy) went back to get the knife, even if it may have incriminate him, he must have covered up the evidence, rendering him guilty.
In conclusion, the movie “Twelve Angry Men” illuminates many social psychology concepts, all of which allow for critical analysis and provide a platform for a better understanding of conformity, persuasion, and fundamental attribution. “Twelve Angry Men” shows there is little difference between the men on the jury, the audience, or even myself. The film alludes that we must understand power of these psychological concepts because these concepts will help lead to a better understand of us.



Works Cited

Bradshaw, Amy. In class.
Fournier, Gillian. "Normative Social Influence | Encyclopedia of Psychology." Psych Central.com. Psych Central , n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2014. .

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