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1. How does the self-concept of some jurors influence their behavior in this film? Who do these men believe they are? What factors do you think influence their perceptions of the young man on trial?
Self-assessment of the jury plays an important role in the decision. People with low self-esteem have always joined the majority, no matter what side they took. Arrogant people were of the same opinion and long hold on it. Confident people thought that their opinion has been true, but insecure people afraid to make mistakes and defend their point of view. There are no doubts that such factors as a different ethnic background, low social status, and previous criminal record of the convicted boy had the greatest impact on the jury.
2. Discuss some of the benefits and risks associated with instances of self-disclosure in the film. What were the outcomes as a result of the disclosures? Support your answers with at least two examples.
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Self-disclosure allows people to reject all the arguments and evidence, and to take the situation to heart. A person can see the situation with his or her own eyes, abandoning all prejudices. A striking example is the disclosure of juror number three, a businessman, who is in conflict with his son. His human confession or even repentance makes another look at all his wild antics. The man, who was initially adamant and stubborn, became soft and understanding in the end. His self-disclosure allowed him to see the situation differently, to see what is true but not what the charge is trying to show.
Another example would be an ordinary architect, the initiator of the schism. At first, he seems an unsure, spineless man who is trying to clear his conscience by voting against the charges. Later, when he tells his story and discredits inconclusive evidence for the prosecution, he becomes more and more confident and even serious and strong opponent for those who do not want to deviate from the opinion that the teenager is guilty.
3. Define empathy and explain its importance to perception. Discuss an example of empathy demonstrated in the film. What effect did it have on the outcome, the jurors, or climate in the room? Explain with examples.
Empathy has played an even more important role in decision-making than self-disclosure. All doubts began from sympathy. The same man is an excellent example. When he first announced that it would not accept the guilty teenager, he still did not have any good reason to doubt. The man said openly that he did not know why the guy should have been considered innocent. But he exactly knew that to send the guy to death is not humane. The architect was just sorry for him. Many of the jurors were rather callous but as soon as they felt empathy a suspect ceased to be a cruel murderer and looked innocent.
4. Discuss the verbal interaction among jurors as it relates to any two principles of verbal messages (example: meanings are in people, or meanings can deceive, etc.). What specific guidelines for effectively using verbal messages (according to chapter 5) would have helped the deliberations among the jurors?
Verbal interaction between the jury is very diverse. Some of them, like the old man who first supported the idea of innocence guy, tried to find ways to resolve the conflict. The old man wanted to know more details before making the decision. He reasoned logically and calmly presented the arguments to others. Some people refused even to listen and occupied themselves with the irrelevant affairs. Many wanted to finish the discussion quickly because of their private businesses. Several people were shouting all the time because their prejudice did not allow them to admit the idea that the teen was innocent.
5. Chapter 6 discusses six functions of nonverbal communication. Explain and provide an example to demonstrate how nonverbal messages functioned among the jurors to: (1) form and manage impressions, (2) form and define relationships, (3) influence or deceive, and (4) allow jurors to express emotions. Provide an explanation for all four functions.
Nonverbal communication has six major functions. They are the control of the communication process, creating a psychological contact between partners, enrichment of the meaning of words, the direction of verbal interpretation of the text, the expression of emotion, and reflection interpretation of the situation. The jury used non-verbal communication mainly to demonstrate their attitude to the situation. Those who had no interest in what was happening could draw or play games with each other to demonstrate lack of interest. To demonstrate aggression jurors rose up and waved.
Those who had a deep thought often looked out of the window. Some of the participants showed their fatigue rubbing their faces. When supporters joined an architect at the ballot, they smiled approvingly and nodded slightly to each other. At the end of the film one of the jurors shook hands with architect, thus expressing his respect for him. Also in the film, there is an emphasis on a particular gesture, which is associated with the fact that one of the jurors rubbed his nose because he had glasses, although he was a witness who claimed to have seen a murder. Thus, the jury realized that he could not see the guy clearly. So, one more piece of evidence is not credible.
6. What were some of the barriers to effective listening that were exhibited by jurors? How did those barriers contribute to an increasingly competitive situation among jurors?
Barriers include the above-mentioned strange affairs of jury. Many people were distracted during the discussion of problems and some even went out. The bias against the suspect and some jurors prevent the most stubborn ones from looking sober at things. The main effect of these barriers is that the explanation of the persons viewpoint and bringing it to others requires more time and effort.
7. Among the obstacles to emotional expression are societal rules and customs, the fear of appearing weak or powerless, and not knowing how to express emotions. Discuss an example from the film of any of these obstacles that may have caused the conflict among the jurors to escalate. Explain.
The ardent fan changed his mind to the not guilty arguing it is only because he was tired of all this. His indifference angered another member of the jury, who began to demand that the ardent fan had to explain and make his decision according to his feelings and not just because of being sick and tired.
8. Review the definition of interpersonal conflict. Using that definition, explain how the situation among the jurors qualifies as an interpersonal conflict. Choose one of the principles of interpersonal conflict and describe its impact on this situation. Then take a look at Figure 11.1 on page 359 in our text, and describe how each of the five conflict styles operated in this film.
Interpersonal conflict is a mutual hostility between the conscious actions of partners in communication with exchanged accusations. As a rule, in the ongoing conflict both sides are contributing, but the prosecution alleges that one side is a victim, and blames the other side. As a rule, the prosecution is shifting the responsibility onto others. However, if all the parties have tried to avoid the conflict, they may never be able to get to the truth. All participants in the process had to choose one of the five conflict styles. The task of the jury was to increase interest in and concern for others and for themselves, go from no way to our way, and finally, resolve the conflict. It was difficult because someone had to lose his or her position to find a compromise.