Interpersonal Communication - 12 Angry Men

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HRMG 6200 / Section 6 August 26, 2012 Week 2 – Interpersonal Behavior Interpersonal Communications: “12 Angry Men” (1957) In the film 12 Angry Men a group of twelve white male jurors are tasked to provide a verdict of guilty or not guilty in a case judging an 18-year-old minority (Puerto Rican) boy of murdering his father. All 12 jurors come from a different walk of life and although all members are Caucasian, the group is extremely diverse. As a result, several personality conflicts emerge and highlight the many differences these twelve strangers have (cultural/value based/assumptions). These individual differences and previously formed biases play a major role in each juror’s opinion, which have an affect on the overall decision-making process and ultimately the final verdict of the jury. This analysis and study of group dynamics will concentrate on the importance of interpersonal as well as intergroup communication. There are several examples of the “8 methods of influence” that can be identified in the film. I will elaborate and provide examples to Six (6) of them: Coalition Building is when one seeks to align its behavior or opinion toward others. The first example of this is when juror #9 is the first juror to change his vote of guilty to not guilty. Juror #9 was an elderly yet observant man and it was important I feel that he was the first to change his mind. Age has its rewards and hopefully still today, people respect their elders. If anyone should have been stuck in his ways and condemn the defendant based on preconceived notions or bias, it was this juror. It was only after Juror #9 changed his mind, that it seemed possible the defendant “could be” innocent. Juror #9 stated that he chose to respect the opinion of juror #8 (who was the sole opponent to the original verdict of “guilty”) and decided he wanted to hear more evidence prior

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