Twelwe Angry Men – Analysis

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Social Cognitive Theory

According to this theory, social cognitive theory allows us to think and judge while helping in personality development. In our lives, we always have someone we admire. Especially, in today’s era there is blind fan following of famous stars and celebrities. By observing the behavior of people, we admire we can actually adopt behavior and traits which can help us improve ourselves. From this chapter we can apply self-efficacy beliefs and self-regulation principles to the juror behavior. Henry Fonda, juror no. 8 was the only one who felt that the victim is innocent while other 11 jurors gave their verdict against him. After spending a lot of time in the room, the juror finally decides to go back to the room and change their point of view.

Social Identity theory

This theory is about how we as individuals rank ourselves in comparison to others on basis of age, hobbies, profession etc. In Canada, we can notice different stereotypes which are assumptions made against other ethnicities. In the movie also, we can notice that Juror no. 1 tried to lead the group because he identified himself as a leader. He was the Assistant High School basketball coach and he was always leading and governing other people affairs. This naturally made him lead others in case there was a chance.


When we analyze the movie from perception point of view, we can notice the Halo Effect concept holds true. We believe this because the jury assumed that all products of slums are violent and they cause problems for society. Also, in another instant when the testimony was presented about the victim being disciplined by his father in childhood was quickly allowed for information guide. They all assumed that similar behavior is played when in common.


This concept is common when our judgement of a person and their actions are influenced by the assumptions that we make. This was very common in behavior of all jurors. For example, Juror 3 compared his personal experience with his son with that of the actions of the guilty person. Juror 8 pointed out the external attribution because the guilty person was beaten all his life. Other juror referred to the kid as slum kid or angry guy and associated stereotypical behavior.


We believe that this was a case of distributive and procedural justice. Distributive justice happened on behalf of the jury as everyone was able to share their point of view by the end of the discussion. Procedural justice happened because at the end the decision of anonymous. In the beginning it was 11-1 but when everyone got the chance to share their opinions it changed to 12-0. They all worked together even in the tense environment.

Goal setting theory

This theory was introduced by Edwin Locke which explains the relationship between assigning goals and the effective execution of a task for which the goals are assigned. According to this theory, a task can be performed in a more efficient and productive way if goals are set for that task provided the goals are specific, comprehensible, realistic and sensible. In order to achieve the goals whether it is on an organizational level or individual level, two key factors should be kept in mind which are self-efficiency, confidence that the task can be performed and commitment to the goals.

Initially, the jurors in the movie were assigned a goal by the judge to sit down and try and separate the facts from the fancy. The goal was to discuss the testimony presented in the court and analyze whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. One man was dead, and another man’s life was at stake which made it difficult for the jurors to come to a single conclusion. The goal influenced the performance of the jurors in a way that they were reluctant to the idea that the accused was not guilty except Mr. Davis (juror no. 8). The goal was SMART as it was specific, could be measured by the facts and figures, attainable, very much relevant to the scenario and perfectly timed but eleven out of twelve jurors were not committed to the goal enough which made them unable to analyze it properly and get the task done in an efficient way

Once Mr. Davis starts putting some sense into the rest of the jurors the goal started shifting and rather than stating the accused guilty the goal was to come with a verdict stating the accused not guilty. The shift in goal made the jury to conduct their performance in an efficient way of saving an innocent young man from the chair.

Group dynamic

The two main theories of group development are stage model theory and the punctuated equilibrium theory.

Stage model theory:

According to this theory when a group is formed it cannot perform well when it is created, and it needs time and patience to perform well in order to achieve the common goal. There are five stages in which a relationship is formed between the group members in order to achieve the common goal.

Forming Stage: This is the first stage where the group is formed and there is uncertainty among the group.

Storming Stage: In the stages, the group members get to know each other, and the work and disputes are its best.

Norming Stage: At this stage the group becomes productive and disputes are resolved easily.

Performing stage: At this stage, the group becomes clear about its goals and start working together in order to achieve the goals.

Adjourning stage: At this stage, the goals of the group are achieved.

Punctuated Equilibrium theory:

This model helps in evaluates the performance of the group by predicting the timing of the progress and the factors affecting their development. It consists of three phases.

Phase One: In this phase, the group is formed, and first meeting occur where group members are exposed to the goals. The progress is little during this phase.

Transition point: In this phase the group plan changes that are necessary for efficient progress.

Phase Two: In this phase, the group implements the changes that they made during the transition point which increase productivity but also suffer the consequences of the past choices.

We think punctuated equilibrium model is a better fit to analyze the group dynamics between the members of the jury since at the start they were going in the wrong direction and the productivity was low then there was a point where they started realizing that their analysis is wrong and started thinking rationally analyzing the facts provided by the witnesses which led them to boost up the progress of the group and came to a verdict of not guilty.

During the interaction between the jurors when juror # 3 made an insult of Mr. McCardle (Juror #9), he was told to respect elders, Racial discrimination was not tolerated when juror #10 tried to target juror #11 and arguments based on stereotypes were not entertained. Two roles emerged during the interaction of the jury members, one was the old man who testified that he heard a fight between the accused and the victim, and the other role was a forty-five years old woman who was an eye witness to the crime.

Initially, eleven out of twelve members of the jury remained stick to the idea that the eighteen years old boy killed his father with a switchblade that he bought in a pawn shop. Mr. Davis (juror#8), tried his best to convince other members of the jury that there might be a possibility of the accused not guilty which he proved with the passage of time with logical and reasonable arguments. Mr. McCardle (Juror #9), was the first person who was convinced by Mr. Davis who helped him in backing the arguments and convincing the others. The cohesiveness of the jury at different points led to rude and harsh arguments between the jury members. Juror #3 tried to physically assault Mr. Davis. Juror # 10 passed on many rude statements to other members of the jury.


According to the traits approach leadership theory, people who are leaders are born with specific characteristics and are gifted. This theory says that leaders can’t be made rather leaders are born. From the viewpoint of this theory, Juror #1 emerged as a leader. From the very start, he takes control of the jury; he is very serious about his role as a juror. He is oriented towards his task and brings the jury members on the table whenever needed. He listened to every single person in the jury and respect their opinions. He is always ready to give up his position if someone in the jury feels that he is not competent enough for the task.

According to the behavior approach leadership theory, the behavior is more important than personality traits when it comes to leadership. In the first ten minutes, juror # 3 influences most of the jury members by his behavior and attitude towards the accused boy. He from the very start decides that the accused is guilty and let the other members of the jury follow him because of his dominant behavior. Juror # 3 has also emerged as a leader based on his behavior and maintained it throughout the trial.

Based on the path-goal theory the appointed leader was effective in the process of achieving the assigned goal. He considered many aspects of path-goal leadership during the trial. He carried on the trail keeping in view the characteristics of the jury members dealing with each juror in a relevant way, for example, he would calm down juror # 3 when he would start shouting and tried to keep them motivated and organized by introducing the idea of ballot voting, making a seating plan and assigning numbers to each juror. He also followed four path goal types of leadership. He was directive and kept the trial in a direction to achieve the goal. He was supportive even when only Mr. Davis voted for not guilty. He was able to achieve the goal and did not let the jury become a hung jury even when juror #3 tried to do so.

Yes, there is a transformational juror in the group, Mr. Davis who constantly reminds the jurors their task which is to come to the right conclusion. He is the only one who looked at the possibility of the accused being not guilty and remained firmed to this decision of looking out to the possibility. He influenced other jury members by his intelligent observation and analysis of the events and emerged as a transformational leader.

Decision Making

According to my perception initially, eleven out of twelve jurors’ decisions were rationally bounded, only Mr. Davis was perfectly rational. Eleven jurors decided on what they were presented with. They decided based on the testimonies of the witnesses, like the old man heard the voice of the boy telling his father “I will kill you” and the forty-five years old woman who was eyen witnessed to the boy stabbing his father. The final decision was perfectly rational, and all the facts and events were analyzed with logic.

Cognitive bias: I noticed cognitive bias in the movie many times, juror # 3 because of his son developed the idea of teenagers to be brutal. Juror # 10 also showed cognitive bias and thought that all slum boys are criminals.

Disadvantages of group decision: There are disadvantages of group decision in the movie, for example, when voting occurs for the first time Mr. McCardle (juror # 9) voted guilty because he followed the majority. Juror #2 felt hesitation in giving his opinion and voted guilty because of the majority. Juror #3 and Juror # 10 constantly disrupted the decision making and made a fuss every time Mr. Davis suggested something rational.

ower and Influence

In this film influence tactics that the jurors used are rational persuasion, assertiveness, and coalition.

Mr. Davis influenced the jury members by rational persuasion. When everyone was reluctant to the idea of the accused not being guilty, Mr. Davis persuaded other members of the jury by giving rational arguments which made them change their decisions.

Juror #3 and Juror #10 was assertive from the start and force other jurors whenever they changed their votes to be not guilty.

Mr. Davis and Mr. McCardle united to form a coalition and one by one changed the minds of other jury members.

Cite this paper

Twelwe Angry Men – Analysis. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/twelwe-angry-men-analysis/



What does 12 Angry Men teach us about justice?
12 Angry Men teaches us that justice requires careful consideration of evidence, empathy towards others, and the courage to stand up for what is right, even in the face of opposition.
What is the main point in 12 Angry Men?
The main point in 12 Angry Men is that it is important to be fair when judging someone.
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