In the film "Twelve Angry Men" the decisions and conduct of the Jurors illustrate the small group communication concept. It is apparent that the motion picture displays the progress of the task-oriented group from the outset to the final verdict.
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In the film "Twelve Angry Men," the jury members, twelve in number, were presented with the challenge to determine a boy's destiny. The members were nearly all unanimous about the guilty decision at the outset of the case examination. All except one individual supported the capital punishment for the young man. This took place prior to the time when the team of jury members was involved in any discussion. Before the nearly unanimous decision, the jurors were very courteous. They made remarks on the high temperature, what they were engaged in for business, discussed the issue of attending a ball game and shared simple common information about themselves. In the beginning, they did not pronounce a word with regard to the case. Then, as we know, their consensus underwent drastic changes. It should be noted that consensus is “the degree of personal commitment the members feel toward the group's decision after it has been reached” (Fisher & Ellis, 1993, p.21). Such kind of a group activity that we see in the film could be identified through the use of the spiral model.
The initial group voting appears to be the anchor of this notion or the start line of the communication process. The first voting of eleven to one opting for the guilty verdict signifies the spiral’s initial level. Juror eight, functioning as the group's deviant, proceeds from the basic level by applying his power of persuasion to impact the rest of the members. When the group discussion versus the minority viewpoint is done, a secret ballot is carried out. The outcome of this ballot, totalled at ten to two for the guilty verdict, takes us to the next phase in the model. Juror number five, who is related to the knife, changes his vote to opt for the not guilty vote. This kind of development on the way to a modified consensus carries on all the way through the lengthy, challenging decision-making process associated with the spiral model.
It is likewise essential to pay attention to the connection of the group process with the communication process in this particular movie. To illustrate this principle of the spiral model of communication more effectively, let me refer to the communication process as outlined by Fisher & Ellis (1993). Communicative relationships undergo changes in the course of interaction with other people (Fisher & Ellis, 1993). Every communicator eventually understands which conduct is more suitable for the given circumstances and which one will be incongruous. The process of interaction eventually becomes balanced, as the communication carries on during an adequate time. Every individual in any communicative situation begins to realize how "the game is played" and identifies the rules regulating the process of communication. Due to this fact the interlocutors restrict their behavior until a recognizable style of communication exchange develops enough to form the relationship amongst the participants of the communication process (Fisher & Ellis, 1993).
An illustration of this idea, taken from the film, could be the time when Juror three eventually self-disclosed the circumstances with his children, for the reason that the consecutive proceedings within the small group communication brought him to expose the facts. It is no doubt that he would not have explained this, if there had not been any build-up to that point in time. Likewise, it wasn't something he would have uncovered in the beginning, lacking any developed connection with the group as well as the situation.
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