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12 Angry Men

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12 Angry Men

The movie, 12 angry men (1957) is a story about 12 jurors that are deliberating the fate of an 18 year old boy, accused of murdering his father. As these 12 jurors deliberate, there are signs of group think, persuasion, polarization, conformity, prejudice, heuristics and reasonable person which will be evaluated within this essay.

As the movie starts, jurors decide to have an immediate vote, as each vote their guilty or not guilty votes, it is apparent that one juror in particular is affected by group think as when it is his turn, he is slow to raise his hand for the guilty vote. Group think is when people within a group begin to form opinions to match the group's opinion rather than their own (Fritcher, 2008, Para. 2).

As the group votes, one juror votes not guilty against the other eleven. As this juror states that there is just too many questions regarding the evidence, he proceeds to persuade other jurors one by one to see the evidence as he does, causing polarization within the group as they disagree with each other as they evaluate the evidence, creating conformity as one by one, their guilty votes are changed to not guilty.

The eyewitness testimonies were both torn apart by the jurors as they discussed and evaluated them. For instance, the old man's testimony that lived below the boy and his father stated that he heard an argument upstairs, the boy yelling at his father "I'm going to kill you" (Orion-Nova Productions, 1957) and a thump as a body fell to the floor. The second eye witness testified that she had been in her bed on the L-train looking out the window, and witnessed the boy stab his father. The jurors evaluating these statements found that when the train goes by the apartment building, the noise is so loud that you "can't hear yourself think" (Orin-Nova Productions, 1957) making it impossible for the old man to hear the argument over the noise from the train. The second testimony from the woman on the train was also found invalid by the jurors as the woman wore glasses, the jurors did not feel that she would have worn her glasses to bed, hence she could not have seen clearly enough to positively identify the boy as the murderer. The jurors also claimed that the boys statement to the police had to be overlooked as evidence as a reasonable person in his circumstances would be unable to give the answers correctly to the police as they were questioning him inside the apartment as his father lay dead in another room.

One juror was left voting guilty and was asked by the other jurors to explain his guilty vote. As he explained himself, the juror displayed signs of heuristics and prejudices within his explanations, being judgmental, basing his guilty vote on biased information given in court, rather than the information that was discussed and the questions that had been raised by the other jurors. This juror repeatedly



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