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12 Angry Men

Human social behavior has been very explicitly shown in the film, both in terms of individual behavior and their reaction to social attitudes. One of the foremost socio-psychological principles applied is that of Authority where right in the beginning of the film when it initially starts off with showing the courtroom in the city of Manhattan. Here focus is next laid on a very bored and tired look judge who instructs the twelve members of the jury to start their session. He rebukes them that this was a case that involved the serious charge of pre-mediated murder with a mandatory death sentence upon a guilty verdict and he said that it was the duty of the jury to actually be able to separate the facts from the fancy as this was very important as one individuals life was at stake and another one was dead. These scenes clearly shows the socio-psychological principle of authority where the judge being the higher one in authority asks of the other jurors to take a appropriate and proper decision and to be able to reach a common conclusion and that too at the earliest.

The next socio-psychological principle applied in the film and shown clearly is the way the juror #8 changes the entire story of the young boy when he convinces his other eleven jurors that the two key witnesses for the case were mistaken and that they could not be really considered when trying to judge whether the boy had committed the crime or not and hence ruled out the witnesses. By this he satisfied the principle of coercion that goes to prove as to how an individual had the power and the ability to change the thoughts and opinions of eleven other individuals although they were not in favor of him or his logic.

‘Group Cohesion’ stands to explain the degree to which each of the members of the group desire to remain in the group. While conducting the preliminary vote to decide as to which of the individual was in favor of whom and how much, they decide to do this by just simply raising their hands. Six of the jurors, # 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 12 immediately put their hands up, but the others because of not wanting to be left out, jurors # 2, 5, 6, 11 and 9 slowly put their hands up. This goes to prove that most individuals would not want to stay away and be different from the rest of the group and would always like to remain in the group and very rarely would one individual like the juror #8 who would stand up against his group and stand for what he believes.

 

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