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12 Angry Men Analytical Essay

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Updated: Jun 10th, 2019

The issues of injustice and possibilities to follow the wrong conclusions during the jurors’ analyzing the case in the court can be considered as the most controversial aspects of the process which results can be irreversible. All these problems are revealed in the movie 12 Angry Men directed by William Friedkin which was released in 1997.

However, in spite of the main theme of legitimacy discussed in the movie, some important aspects of the social psychology can be discussed using the examples of relations and interactions between the characters of the movie. The main two aspects which should be effectively analyzed are the problem of stereotypes and the question of the successful leadership.

The plot of the movie is based on the story of a young Spanish-American boy who is accused in killing his father, and the main task of the jurors is to decide whether he is guilty or innocent. The jurors have their own personal vision of the case and are inclined to accuse the boy without paying much attention to the discussion of the case’s details.

However, there is Juror # 8 who does not want to follow the viewpoint of the majority of the group and insists on the further detailed analysis of the case (12 angry men, 1997).

The peculiarities of the manner to persuade the public and lead the persons’ to making their own right conclusions which is demonstrated by Juror # 8 can be discussed in the field of the social psychology with references to its main aspects along with the group’s inclination to follow the stereotypes and bias.

The main difficulty which complicated the jurors’ clear vision of the problem can be discussed as the progress of stereotypes in their attitudes to the people. While discussing the peculiar features of the case, the jurors focus on their beliefs about definite groups of people and the possible characteristics which can be used to describe their behavior.

Thus, accusing the boy in murdering his father, the jurors reveal their stereotypes about those people who grow in poverty in slums (12 angry men, 1997). Following these stereotypes, the jurors are inclined to wrongly interpret the boy’s possible actions with references to their vision of the case according to their stereotypes.

Moreover, the situation is also complicated by the combination of stereotypes and discriminative views against the representatives of the minority groups (Franzoi, 2002).

Nevertheless, Juror # 8 is not so categorical in his discussion of the issue as the other jurors influenced by their own stereotyped visions. According to the aspects of the social psychology, it is possible to speak about the juror’s revealing the effective leader’s behavior. The leader is a person who can motivate the others to reach the goals and achieve high results (Franzoi, 2002).

The behavior of Juror # 8 can be considered as the behavior of the task-oriented leader. In spite of the fact his leadership is not open and not formal, Juror # 8 is successful in controlling the situation of the discussion with the help of different conversation tactics and a series of thought-provoking questions.

Juror # 8 realizes the principles of the coaching leadership with focusing on creating the supportive atmosphere during the discussion.

The principles of social psychology are regularly realized by people in their everyday interactions. That is why different aspects of the social psychology can be involved in the analysis of the characters’ behavior and actions in movies, novels, and shows.


12 angry men. (1997). [Video] Web.

Franzoi, S. (2002). Social Psychology. USA: Mcgraw-Hill College.

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