The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the movie “12 Angry Men” relative to conflict resolution. I will discuss how the character played by Henry Fonda was able to effectively use conflict resolution skills to bring the jury to their final verdict. I will also discuss some of the issues contributing to the climate of conflict in the jury room. Henry Fonda’s character is an architect named Mr. Davis. He happens to be juror number 8. I will refer to this character from now on as “Fonda” for ease of writing and understanding. I have attached Appendix A listing the jurors in order of their juror number. This may help to better identify the jurors and references the order in which they voted not guilty.
The group of jurors experiences the spectrum of the conflict continuum from difference to contention. Throughout their deliberation, they fluctuate between difference, disagreement, dissonance, controversy and contention. They, of course, never reach the far right of the continuum, which is war. The points on the continuum are reached at different times between different jurors and groups of jurors. This is based on their backgrounds and their assumptions and how these interface with their transactions with each other.
I think that there was some cognitive dissonance caused by the Judge at the beginning. The Judge gave the jurors a speech about their responsibilities in their deliberation. He was not forceful enough in his delivery. His tone was one of boredom. I think this failed to convey to many of the jurors the importance of their role. When the deliberation starts, many of the jurors just want to vote and get out of there.
The physical environment also contributes to the climate of conflict. The room is very small causing a very close interaction zone. It is the hottest day of the year and the fan does not work at first.
Conflict exists in the jury room on all three levels: in...