Setting and Overall Storyline of “12 Angry Men”
The movie “12 Angry Men” tells the story of twelve angry men. These men are angry because they are bored. Also, some are angry because the Courtroom is hot. The movie starts in a Courtroom in New York where fourteen are charged to deliberate the fate of a man the plaintiff accuses of killing his dad with a knife (McCambridge, 2003). The judge tells these men that the defendant will be sentenced to death supposed he is found guilty. The judge decides, dismisses two jurors, and sends the remaining twelve back to the Courtroom. The team initially seemed pleasant and friendly, exchanging small talks and pleasantries. However, they notice a fly in the ointment during the first vote. Jury 8 states he is voting not guilty since he is not convinced that the man is guilty. The other jurors get annoyed by his decision since they are willing to move on without discussing their beliefs in an open.
The remaining parts of the film focus on the inability of the juries to reach a unanimous verdict. The plot indicates that the jurors hold personal prejudice that prevents them from getting the solution (McCambridge, 2003). Despite this, juror 8 insists that the defendant is not guilty and deserves a failed deliberation. He questions the validity and accuracy of two witnesses to the murder. As the movie continues, the jurors come slowly around juror 8’s point of view. The only juror who believes that the defendant is guilty is juror 3. He has been arguing and opposing juror eight throughout the film (McCambridge, 2003). Juror 3 decides to tear up a picture of him and his son and break down crying. After that, he changes his vote to not guilty. The verdict is, therefore, unanimous. The twelve men leave the courtroom jury to announce the final judgment.
Main Character in the Movie “12 Angry Men”
The main character in the movie is juror 8. Throughout the movie, he features his point of view differs from the other eleven jurors. The film does not reveal whether his point is correct. It shows the strength and power of the American Justice System (McCambridge, 2003). According to the character, every individual is entitled to a fair trial. Furthermore, he ought to be judged by a jury of his peers who give due consideration to the evidence.
The action of the Characters Depicting Social Psychology in the Courtroom.
The actions of juror eight and the other eleven jurors show attitude change and persuasion, concepts we learn in social psychology. Juror 8 can change the attitude of the other eleven jurors to enable the team to reach a unanimous verdict (McCambridge, 2003). He does this by supporting his arguments claim using tangible facts. Furthermore, the other eleven jurors are not in a position to convince one juror and, therefore, fail to change his view. In this case, persuasion leads to attitude change.
Persuasion is a function of attitude. It refers to the process by which people change their attitudes. There is two main routes of persuasion, the central and peripheral route. In definition, a major route in persuasion is the process through which an individual thinks carefully about a problem. It is always influenced by the power of argument (Zimbardo & Leippe, 2014). Juror 8 approach to attitude change demonstrates the central route of persuasion. He appeals for the defendant’s innocence and a well-thought manner. He argues his point by providing evidence, enabling him to sway the other eleven jurors.
On the other hand, the peripheral route to persuasion is shown by baseless arguments that lack real facts (Zimbardo & Leippe, 2014). The sickly man in the Courtroom urges the other eleven jurors to use an attitude based on racial and ethnic cues. Furthermore, he pleads with the judges to convict the man because he knows how the African-Americans behave. They lie, steal, and do all sorts of nonsense in the United States of America. In a nutshell, I would say that the movie “12 Angry Men” demonstrate the concept of persuasion and attitude change in the courts. These are concepts that we study in the course “social psychology.”
McCambridge, J. (2003). 12 Angry Men: A study in dialogue. Journal of Management Education, 27(3), 384-401.
Zimbardo, P. G., & Leippe, M. R. (2014). The psychology of attitude change and social influence. Mcgraw-Hill Book Company.