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The movie “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose is a drama that displays twelve jurors’ in-depth reasoning to decide a unanimous decision on the defendant’s sentence. There are many assets and liabilities of the group that play a role in their decision making. The jurors are all defined in terms of their personalities, backgrounds, prejudices and emotional tilts. This paper will argue that when pride, jealousy, frustration and prejudice all emerge we see irrational and rational decision making methods.

The assets of group is shown when juror#8 starts a different approach to evidence by showing the knife that was thought to be rare. It starts the process of participation in problem solving by other jury members who may have made up their mind or were just feeling conformity pressure. Greater sum of individual’s total information starts to helps jury make a better decision. Liabilities of a group are show when every one except juror# 8 raise their hand feeling conformity pressure. There is desire of individual shown by juror# 3 to dominate and win the argument rather than finding a best solution.

Lack of interest is shown by juror# 7 to reason or spend time to solve problem. There are prejudice feelings shown by juror# 10 and 7, they think juror# 5 and 11 do not know much because of their backgrounds. Each group determines assets and liabilities of their group’s problem solving. As long disagreement is not personal and is in interest of best solution it’s healthy. Time required to solve a problem is uncertain, members might get impatient and solve problem without reasoning. Risk taking is either good or bad depending on how a group uses it.

Each group has a different problem to solve and different personalities to work with which is why each group can use assets and liabilities positively and negatively. Throughout the film, Juror Ten is violently prejudiced against anyone who comes from a slum. “You can’t believe a word they say,” he declares – take note that Juror Ten does not say “he,” meaning the defendant, but “they,” the group of slums as a whole. This proves that he cannot make a fair judgment about individual guilt.

Juror Nine, the senior man with accumulated life experience, notices this and rebukes immediately saying “Since when is dishonesty a group characteristic? ” The intolerance of Juror Ten continues before finally erupting in a long speech that leads the other jurors to reject him. The message is clear that such irrational prejudice is incompatible with justice. Juror Four also shows signs of such prejudice, though he couches it in more acceptable words: “The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society. When a person hears the word prejudice, he or she might think it only refers to the racial prejudice often found between those with light skin and those with dark skin. However, prejudice runs much deeper than a person’s color. Prejudice is found between gender, religion, cultural and geographical background, and race. People have discriminated against others based upon these attributes from the beginning of time. Prejudice has become a complex problem in our society; for example, if someone were to walk in a secluded area at night and pass a group of senior citizens, he or she will, most likely, not feel threatened.

However, if instead of senior citizens, three teenagers dressed in ripped jeans and t-shirts wearing metal chains around their necks passed the person is more likely to feel threatened. Prejudice is the sad truth of today’s society. Whether it’s from watching the local news or reading the newspaper, many people base stereotypes on the media or personal experiences. Although these are the most convenient ways to judge someone, they are also the worst. Whenever dealing with the media, events are dramatized and slowly build into the subconscious. The affects of prejudice then influence our decisions without us even realizing it.



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