Commentary On This Project
This is a great example of a social psychological movie analysis. The student has taken on a movie classic. He gives just enough of the plot at the start of the paper to orient the reader, then provides additional plot details as needed to dissect specific pieces of action as they unfold at different points in the film. He organizes the paper around three main themes, (conformity, attitude change and persuasion, and group process), and within these he brings to bear a number of different theories and perspectives. In doing so, he goes well beyond the minimal requirements for the paper (i.e., the "rule of three"). In each case, the application of social psychological theory is appropriate and convincing. Except for a few minor flaws, the paper is well written. This was a fun paper to read.
“12 Angry Men”
The film “12 Angry Men” exemplifies many social psychology theories. This tense, compelling film, features a group of jurors who must decide the guilt or innocence of an accused murder. Initially eleven of the twelve jurors vote guilty. Gradually, through heated discussion, the jurors are swayed to a not-guilty decision. Upon examination, the film highlights social psychology theories in areas of conformity, attitude change and group process.
Within the context of the jury room conformity is a dangerous device. “Twelve Angry Men” exemplifies the power of informational social influence and normative social influence, theories developed through the research of Muzafer Sherif, Solomon Asch and others. According to informational social influence individuals conform because they believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more salient, or valid, than their own. Normative social influence is a theory that posits the cause of individual conformity due to the possibility of appearing deviant.
Judging other’s interpretations of an ambiguous...