Social Psychology in the Film 12 Angry Men

The film 12 Angry Men is a story about a jury trying to come to a verdict on a murder case. The case involves a young kid who has actually been accused of killing his dad. Initially, all the jurors agree that the young boy is guilty, nevertheless among them is unsure. Throughout the film, this one man raises enough affordable doubt for the entire jury to one by one modification their vote to innocent so that ultimately the young kid is acquitted. There are many elements of social psychology seen in this motion picture, specifically seen with malfunctioning eyewitness testimony, comparable juror qualities, and prejudice through subtyping.

In the book Introduction to Social Psychology by David Myers, it is clear that throughout time social psychologists have actually concerned reveal that eyewitness testimony can not always be a trusted source of info. Nevertheless, the research study shows that juries are most likely to believe the eyewitness more likely than not, even after they have actually been discredited. This is seen in the film 12 Angry Guys several times. At first, when the jurors each walk around the table and say why they believe the kid is guilty, the majority of them bring up the eyewitnesses statements. There are 2 eyewitness testaments that are the subject of discussion, one from the old man who lived below the murder and one from the girl who lived across the street. After the males who are voting not guilty show some major holes in the old man’s testimony, there are just a few jurors left who think the kid is guilty. When they are asked why, they go to the lady’s statement, where she said she state the boy and you can not simply throw that out. Despite the fact that there has been a lot evidence to this point to reveal that the young boy most likely did not eliminate his dad, these eyewitness testimonies were strong enough to have the guys ignore other evidence and rely purely on the words of someone else to throw a man into prison.

Another aspect of social psychology seen in the film is juror attributes. These twelve guys are all rather different from each other, and each of their distinctions leads them to view the case in a various light. In David Myer’s book, we discover that jurors are most likely to be on the side of the accused if the offender is similar to the juror. This is true in other elements of social psychology also, such as preference, prejudice, and conformity. In the film this is seen after one juror makes a prejudiced remark of how the kid matured in the run-down neighborhoods. The male is stating that of course the kid did it because of his upbringing. This truly upsets another juror who actually did mature in the run-down neighborhoods. This juror who matured in the slums stands up for the young boy stating that just because he matured in the slums does not indicate he is a murderer. Soon after this, he alters his vote to innocent, because he sees his own struggles in the boy at this point.

Another element of social psychology seen with this particular scene is subtyping. After the male who matured in the shanty towns is upset by the man who is stereotyping kids from the shanty towns, the offending man states that obviously he must not take it that method, because this male on the jury is clearly different from the offender. This is an example of subtyping, which is when someone does not fit the stereotype somebody has in their mind, so they simply inform themselves that person is an exception to the guideline. This is a form of prejudice, where the person refuses to accept that their stereotype is incorrect, but instead just see this one person as an odd example. This is certainly seen in the film, since even after this offensive occasion, the fact that this boy grew up in the slums is still a point held against him.

Overall, the movie 12 Angry Guys reveals several elements of social psychology throughout its plot line. Specifically, it reveals different faults that can take place in a courtroom that can be easily overlooked. If that one male picked to conform and vote guilty with the rest of the guys on the first vote, then the young boy would have gone to jail when he was in fact innocent. The value of actually analyzing an eyewitness statement is exhibited extremely well as both of the testaments this jury heard appears to be malfunctioning. The strength of juror resemblances to the defendant is viewed as one guy completely alters his vote once he recognizes how much he shares with the offender. Finally, the aspect of subtyping in prejudice is depicted rather well in the movie as the guys still evaluate the boy for his upbringing, but do not believe any various of the man in the jury who was raised the very same way. Overall, 12 Angry Guys is an excellent representation of elements of social psychology and might be studied far more with lots of other social processes.

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