“12 Angry Men” Analysis
September 6, 2014
1. Find examples for 5 of the 8 influence techniques.
Pressure influence tactics can be immediately seen from the very first scene and is constant throughout the entire film. This influence tactic is the most evident form of influence utilized in the film. During the initial voting session, eleven of the twelve jurors were left in shock when only one juror voted against the majority vote as he voted not guilty. The group of eleven jurors immediately tried to influence the architect to reconsider his vote using group pressure tactics. Peer pressure can be an intimidating influence technique used to convince others to comply or change one’s behavior.
Reason influence tactics are demonstrated repeatedly throughout the entire film. After the initial vote was completed, each juror was given the opportunity to share his reasoning as to why they believed the defendant was guilty. Each juror shared with each other their best logical arguments and emphasized factual evidence they felt were key in both influencing their own decision and perhaps ultimately influencing the decision of each other juror.
Inspiration influence tactics are demonstrated by the Architect is his initial rebuttal to his minority vote. As the entire jury panel pressured and questioned his reasoning, the Architect felt it was the defendant’s constitutional right to be innocent until proven guilty. It was also his natural responsibility as a human being to resist the pressure of making the impulsive decision and vote guilty from the very first moment. The other jurors demonstrated selfishness, self-centeredness, and minimal value for human life as many preferred to make a quick decision and go on off to attend other responsibilities or venues even such as a ball game. When the architect stated “… sending a boy off to die without talking about it first”, he was trying to make others realize the significance of their decisions and that they were deciding someone’s life. The architect; therefore, chose to appeal to higher ideals and values in his attempt to influence others decisions. The eldest juror quickly confirmed his support by committing he was now willing to sit for an hour and discuss the case in further detail.
Coalition building influence tactics are demonstrated specifically during a scene focused on Juror #2 (Lee Cobb). Juror #2 stands up to begin discussing “kids these days” in which his behavior attempts to use this endeared subject to send a message that would apply to the others. The audience of jurors consisted of primarily middle-aged men, most of which had gone through fatherhood and even had also experienced parenting challenges. Juror #2 chose this communication message to “hit home” and quickly gain coalition support.
We can witness Exchange influence tactics around the 31st minute of the film. After a much delayed period of arguments, the architect diffused a volatile moment by offering a proposition to the rest of the group. In calling for a secret vote, he made a deal with others in pledging that if the entire group voted guilty, he would sustain the vote and allow everyone to go home. But if anyone else voted not-guilty, they would all agree to stay longer and talk it out. Everyone agreed and a vote was taken.
2. Several jurors attempt to influence the decision making process. Using the influence material, explain why the architect is so much more effective than the others.
The architect was much more effective in influencing the others because he utilized an effective combination of the influence methods. As I provided in the exercise above, the Architect focused a lot of his arguments based on Inspirational and Reasoning Methods. These methods are considered to be some of the most effective influence methods amongst all of the influence processes. The Architect was therefore ultimately able to sway