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12 Angry Men

Autor:   •  January 7, 2012  •  Term Paper  •  2,461 Words (10 Pages)  •  2,328 Views

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Social Psychology and “12 Angry Men” Final Paper

Gloria Stacy

Western International University

BEH/311-1472 Social Psychology

Assistant Dean Corey Pruitt, MS, CMS, CPC

Social Psychology and “12 Angry Men”

The objective of this paper is to present 12 Angry Men as my source that represents various topics from Baron/Bryne/Branscombe/Bhardwaj’s Social Psychology.

“Twelve Angry Men,” is a play originally by Reginald Rose (1957) that was later adapted into film by Sidney Lumet, this taut film that runs 96 minutes. The set and its entirety takes place in a sweltering jury room of a courthouse in the big city of Manhattan. The film is about jurors deliberating on a case to decide the outcome of a trial for a Puerto Rican 18-year old youth. The youth is from the slums and is charged with stabbing his father with a knife resulting in his death. However the film is not just about a deliberating jury, but is also about ones human nature, stereotyping, and how our attitudes and beliefs lead to an unanimous not guilty verdict. The story is thrilling; but most importantly “12 Angry Men” is a masterpiece in the study of Socratic leadership. The leadership can be depicted as provocative with probing questions that compel a person to rethink their opinion and beliefs.

In the film; act one there are no scenes where you see or hear the attorneys argue their case. The scene begins with the judge explaining the jurors are charged to come back with an unanimous decision of guilty or not guilty. The jurors are locked into a deliberation room and all evidence is against the boy and a guilty verdict would send this young man to his death by the electric chair. The judge tells the jurors that they were faced with a momentous decision and the court would not divert any acts of mercy if the boy was found guilty. The judge remarks; you are faced with a grave responsibility. The film begins with what some would consider an open-and-shut case of murder, but becomes a drama of each of the individual jurors’ prejudices, stereotyping and preconceptions of the accused on trial and one another. This powerful film explains how the American court system protects individual rights through objective law. The film is complex and overshadowed by prejudice and stereotyping that influenced their decision. As the film goes on, and stereotyping is set aside is when the jurors are able to come to a logical decision on the case.

The twelve jurors, all men, file into the nonair-conditioning jury room and sit around a long conference table. Obviously most of the men are irritable and just want to get the verdict delivered so they can go on with their lives. At the initial start, all jurors except


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