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12 Angry Men

Essay by   •  January 4, 2012  •  Book/Movie Report  •  760 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,626 Views

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MOVIE: 12 Angry Men


As the jurors initiate the first vote, which was done publicly, it was obvious that conformity took place. In the words of Wikipedia, "Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by what is conceived to be what other people might perceive." As they took this initial vote you can see how each are looking around to see how the next person is voting so that they can vote with the majority, even though they barely put in time to talk the case through - except Henry Fonda (HF). All except HF only has the concern of getting out of deliberation as soon as possible. HF truly would like to discuss the case in details and to look at it from all possible angles. While he may think the boy may have killed his father, he still believes he deserves a fair and thorough trial, especially since a guilty verdict sentences the defendant to death. Unfortunately, the high level of conformity caused the jurors deliberations to go on longer than it may have if everyone initially gave the vote they wanted with some sort of reasoning behind it whether or not it disagreed with the next man.

The initial nonchalant vote caused some jurors to attempt to influence others in order to convince them of their case. Many of the jurors wrote off the boy based on stereotypes about growing up in the slums and belonging to a minority group. There were also some who were biased towards the evidence presented and only chose to reflect on the evidence that was directly related to their reasons for voting for the boy to be found guilty. These influence tactics were not able to work completely because when it comes to stereotyping and biases everyone will have their own. You can't easily persuade someone to have the same bias as you as those are instilled in you through the way you were raised and through personal experiences; therefore, those influence tactics weren't too successful.

However, HF was the only man in there that had reasoning and confidence in his vote that he stuck by and in turn was able to influence the votes of the other jurors. HF's influence techniques were part assertiveness and whole use of reason. He was only partially using the assertiveness technique because he wasn't really completely aggressive in making his point; but he was definitely confident and self-assured. HF embodied the use of reason technique in whole because all he wanted to do was appeal to logic and rational thinking. Yes, he may believe that the boy killed his father, but he wanted the jurors to reach that decision in a logical way.

During the initial vote HF suggests they talk about the case before jumping to conclusions after the rest had voted guilty without even putting any thought in their decision. HF's influence on the first changed vote of



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