Running Head: BLOCKBUSTER FILM’S AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCEPTS
The Presence of Psychology: How a Blockbuster Film
Incorporated Psychological Concepts
University of Houston
For this project I chose to analyze a Blockbuster Film for psychological concepts. By watching 12 Angry Men my goal was to examine the meaning behind particular scenes and how they could portray a social psychology concept. I wondered if it was possible that the writers and film makers knew they were using these concepts in their film and how it would affect their viewers. 12 Angry Men is a crime drama about a murder trial in which there is one juror who resists placing a guilty verdict on a young boy, because he is not without doubt. The film proceeds with the majority trying to persuade this juror, juror number eight, to change his verdict, but the tables turn and one by one he wins the rest of the men onto his side. I wanted to choose scenes that resonated with me, I first found a clip of one juror who blatantly justifies his verdict of guilty based on the race of the young boy. The second clip depicts the first member of the jury to be swayed to juror number eights side, with changing his guilty plea to not guilty. Both of these scenes possess tremendous power and profound use of prejudice and minority influence.
My main expectation was to view the film and find only a short scene that could pertain to a psychological concept. I thought at most, I would learn that psychology is present in the film industry more than I notice. I really thought the project would be fairly easy and I’d be disappointed by the amount of psychology found in the film. In terms of the film I saw I expected to view the trial happening, and to extrapolate my own verdict, based on the given evidence. I mainly wanted to see if I could be persuaded away from my original belief towards the beliefs of the jury members. I wanted to treat the trial as something I was really attending, though I believed once I formed a conviction I would be steadfast in it. I expect my emotions would play a role into my beliefs, however I aim to see if I can keep an objective mindset without my emotions clouding my judgments.
Upon watching the film and finding the two scenes used for the project I found that the film 12 Angry Men had an abundance of psychological concepts, ranging from Groupthink, Prejudice, Minority Influence, and Normative Social Influence, just to name a few. Every scene in the movie had me captivated and my mind taking notes faster than I could write. Unfortunately as a viewer I was unable to actually see the trial take place, thus incapable of forming my own verdict before hearing the juries. The film went from the judge telling the jurors their duties, right to the deliberation room. A vote was cast immediately where eleven of the twelve men voted guilty. One juror stood alone with a not guilty vote as he felt he wasn’t without...