PSYC The likelihood of confronting dissonance impacts the individuals








Angry Men” is a film that demonstrates various social psychology theories. This
powerful film presents twelve jurors who are considering the verdict of a young
boy charged with killing his father. The boy, a minority, has a weak alibi and
there is a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence. The film features
the social psychology theories in groupthink, persuasion, conformity, discrimination,
and confirmation bias.

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A group is defined as a number of
individuals collectively. There is a theory in psychology that shapes the probable
threat with working with a group. Groupthink, identified by social psychologist
Irving Janis, have symptoms as a collective form of dissonance reduction when
facing threats and receive results in positive group response.  The group can suffer pressures toward the need
for unanimity. Twelve Angry Men is
set in a jury room, a representative illustration of groupthink by having a
goal and everyone needs to be unanimous. The likelihood of confronting
dissonance impacts the individuals in the group to not convey their own views
and beliefs to the group as the response of an organized verdict is a cause of
groupthink. But in some cases, such as demonstrated in Twelve Angry Men, one person isn’t influenced by groupthink. The majority
of the jurors believed that they were making the right decision by sending a
person who they deemed as bad and also stereotyped, in jail. As soon as more of
the jurors modify their decision on the verdict, there was an added stress for
the other jurors to also modify their minds. Ultimately, they were convinced by
the strong leader of the group, Juror #8. With the influence of Juror #8, the
white males were close to engaging in groupthink but eventually didn’t. The
impact of groupthink could have damaged the fairness of a jury.



Persuasion is a vital feature in the interesting disposition of “Twelve Angry men.” Persuasion includes
the power to convince. There are to routes to persuasion: the central route to
persuasion and the peripheral route to persuasion. These routes showcase
persuasion as a fundamental function in the storyline of “Twelve Angry Men.”

The central route to persuasion is the method by which an individual is focused
on strong, compelling arguments, if the individual is able to consider the
issue then persuasion is more than likely feasible. Juror #8 process to
persuasion is portrayed by the central route to persuasion. Juror #8 petitions for
the young boy being charged for murder to be deemed not guilty in an educated, logical

The peripheral route to persuasion involves persuasion in a manner that
isn’t based on the content of the argument nor the argument itself. The
peripheral route involves using superficial cues adjoining the argument instead
of the accurate validity.  Juror 10,
known as actor Ed Begley, refers to the young kid being charged as a slum kid. He
wants the other jurors to take the same attitude as his, all based on
peripheral racial cues. He conveyed the indication that there’s something about
‘slum kids’ who are in specific ethnic groups that brands them naturally terrible.

While he is eventually shunned by the other jurors, Juror 10 makes internal
attributions, non-factual cues, and utilizes the peripheral route to
persuasion.  All the decisions that are thought
by the group whether contemplated or not are seriously persuaded by the outside.

For the jurors who can’t understand the intricacy of the trial, took the
peripheral route. As Juror #8 says, “Prejudice always obscures the truth.” Characters
highlight the persuasion theories and give validation to the impact of strongly
influential manner.


Conformity is the change in behavior because of real or imagined group
social pressure. People have different opinions and within a group, people
often adjust their behavior and attitude to correlate with the overall group judgement.

Solomon Asch researched on conformity, asking questions such as, “If
confederates coached by the experimenter gave identical wrong answers, would
people declare what they would otherwise have denied?” (Myers, 2018). There
were answers to Asch’s questions, he was right. Reasonably, intelligent people
were willing to conform to a group’s opinion, especially regarding culture and
gender. Conformity was anticipated because of cultural influence depicted
within the beginning moments of the film. In Twelve Angry Men, in the initial vote, most of the jurors believed
the kid was guilty, in fact, they thought it was going to be an easy
deliberation because everyone had to have thought he was guilty. Juror #9 later
expressed that he wasn’t sure the kid was guilty, others looked around to see what
people were going to vote, the ballot was anonymous and it’s suggested that the
pressure to conform then begun. Ultimately, he switched to not guilty on the
private ballot.  

     Another example would be Juror #5 seeming
unsure whether the kid was guilty, he happened to be a slum kid before, but because
of majority voting guilty he conceded into pressure. According to Rongjun Yu
and Sai Sun, “The accuracy account of informative conformity posits that
individuals often refer to social information to gain an accurate understanding
of reality and effectively respond to social situations, especially during
times of uncertainty.”


Prejudice is the attitude, stereotypes are to generalize and often
supported by negative views.  In a
general sense the movie encounters racial prejudice. The race of the kid
accused isn’t clear but it’s understood he’s a minority, a ‘slum kid’. Juror #4
state, “It’s no secret that slums are breeding ground for criminals.” While
maybe not all the jurors are racially driven, and Juror #4 isn’t being racist,
he seems to be prejudiced against the kid accused because of his ethnicity and
where he is from. Juror #3 also discusses how kids don’t have any wisdom and
lack respect or morality, he also is deemed prejudiced because of the kid’s
age, similarly juror #9 is an older man, and because of it his opinion isn’t validated
by any of the other jurors. Prejudice is most evident when juror #10 and juror
#3 have made their decision the accused is guilty and as mentioned before, it’s
because of his age and where he came from, they made their decision without contemplating
the facts. It’s the tone in the way the men make their case that the kid is
guilty while juror #8 is reasonable saying, “I think testimony that could put a
boy into the electric chair should be accurate,” “You want to see this boy die
because you personally want it, not because of the facts!”



             Individuals incline to not seek
information that might disprove what they believe. Humans are, again, eager to
verify our beliefs but less inclined to seek evidence that might disprove them,
this Phenom is recognized as the confirmation bias. Stereotypes lead to an interpreting
testimony in a biased way in this movie, they direct an individual to a
confirmation bias. Several of the jurors originally anticipated that the boy
was guilty, Juror #2 said, “It’s hard to put into words. I just think he’s
guilty.” He further discusses how it was obvious that no one could prove the
young kid did not do it so he had to be guilty. They remembered the details
that supported their decision. They disregarded details that would disprove
what they believed.

Angry Men depicts a
moment in which democracy is shown in it’s true glory, with prejudiced views, bias,
attitudes and with deliberation, a group chose to serve justice. Individuals
put prejudice views to the side and listened to another fellow juror, after
all, they didn’t know each other’s names, only their numbers. The film showcases
the social psychological influence in action during the jury’s deliberation,
theories such as groupthink, persuasion, discrimination, conformity and
confirmation bias.  The dynamics in the
jury room reveals how many of the social psychological theories are encountered
day to day and in citizen duties.

















Works Cited

Myers, D. G. & Twenge, J. M. (2018).

Exploring Social Psychology (8th ed.). New York 
                    sjdajdl;McGraw Hill.

Yu R, Sun S (2013) To Conform or Not to
Conform: Spontaneous Conformity Diminishes the 
to Monetary Outcomes. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64530. fasdfsa