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Juror Organised Highly Conscientious Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 5450 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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12 Angry Men is a story of 12 juries making decision for a boy who have been accused for murdering his own father. A jury not only symbolizes democracy, but also embodies important cultural values which teamwork. The movie, “12 Angry Men” clearly depicts how a random group of people can come together for a common goal, and in this case specifically to reach a final verdict. Each member possesses specific personality traits and diverse backgrounds that affect the decision making process. In the beginning, eleven juries out of twelve voted guilty. Only Juror No.8 voted the boy is not guilty. Juror 8 thought that they should re-examine the evidences again and not simply make decision on the boy’s life within five minutes. All of them agreed to speak out their opinions about the case. Most of them voted guilty based on the evidences and testimonials by the witnesses.

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2.0 Personalities

According to the Gordon Allport, personality is the “dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his unique adjustment to his environment” In other words, the ways in which a person reacts or interacts with others. Actually, it is the mixture of characteristics or traits that form a person’s character and makes the person unique from another. In the movie 12 Angry Men the twelve juries got twelve different personalities. Hence, by using the personality traits models, like Big Five Model we have analyzed what kind of personalities they fall into.

2.1 Juror#1- Responsible, Conscientiousness

Firstly, Juror #1 was the leader (foreman) of the twelve jury board. Throughout the discussion on whether the boy who was accused as a murderer of his father is guilty or not, he acted as a responsible leader. We discover that he handled situation in an organized way, for example- at start he suggested everyone to sit by their numbers and after that when everyone was settled on their seats he explained what they are supposed to do, and also when Juror#12 was distracted from his responsibility as a juror, Juror#1 reminded him his reason to be in the juror board. So, this proves that he has high conscientiousness. Furthermore, his agreeableness is also quite high as he considered others opinion about voting at first and keeping everyone’s view in front according to jury numbers and so on. In addition, his emotional stability is high, he was calm throughout the discussion even when 10th Juror questioned his leadership by asking him to stop treating them as kids, he did not raise his voice too much but he just offered Juror#10 to take over his position.

2.2 Juror#2- Mild Openness to Idea

It was the first time as a juror for Juror#2, so he was at first clueless about how thing works in a juror discussion. He was not very comfortable to voice out his ideas about why he thinks the boy is guilty, he just believes the evidences and the words he heard from the case. It gives the idea that his openness to new things is not high; he is not autonomous when taking decision. But he got more involved as the discussion goes on after a while and when the Juror#8 was showing out his doubt about the truth of the evidence, Juror#2 took notice of the logic behind the doubts and eventually supported Juror#8.

2.3 Juror#3- Stubborn

Next, Juror#3 was the one who changed his vote to not guilty in the end. His stubbornness made him stick towards voting guilty throughout the discussion. He did not want to listen to any opinion other than his; he also denied the facts that make the evidences doubtful, this makes him low on agreeableness. Furthermore, he is low on conscientiousness as he did not feel responsible for the boy’s life, he thought that the courtroom was sleepy, people are talking too much when the case was obvious, and it is just a waste of time and money for him, even when the Juror#8 was giving out his view instead of listening carefully why Juror#8 thought the boy might not be guilty Juror#3 was playing with Juror#12. Next, he also lost his temper when Juror#8 was convincing others with his reasons of having doubt on the evidences and the number of vote for not guilty was increasing, he yelled at those who changed their mind, he was emotionally unstable.

2.4 Juror#4- Organised, Highly Conscientious

Now, we move to Juror#4. He gives an impression of a very professional and organized person because he supported his view about the boy being guilty with facts and logic, without simply just saying guilty because the court said so. Despite that, he is highly conscientious as he took his duty as juror seriously. He was emotionally stable and opens to others opinion. He was not influenced by others, when making decisions he was independent, rational and calm. He changed his vote only after Juror#8 and Juror#9 gave him enough evidence (e.g. remembering the movie name, marks of spectacles on the woman’s nose) to doubt his decision over the kid as the murderer. However, at the beginning of the discussion he showed a little negative thinking about the slum and the people who live there by saying “He was born in a slum. Slums are breeding grounds for criminals, I know as a view it’s no secret.”

2.5 Juror#5- Introvert

Next, Juror#5 shared the same background in terms of environment and culture in which, the boy who was accused to be murderer grew up. He was not comfortable to judge the boy and also did not want to give reason behind his vote at first. He showed the symptoms of an introvert person. Later on when he connected the evidence with his own experience and when he was offended by having a background that was born in a slum, he changed his vote to not guilty.

2.6 Juror#6- Simple

When we come to Juror#6, we can know that he was a simple man. When it was his time to give his opinion on the cause of voting guilty he simply said there was a motive like every murder case and the picture presented in the court makes it obvious that the boy killed his father, he could not argue with the fact Juror#8 brought in front of him then. He just agrees with the court decision. He never became hyper throughout the meeting; he tried to stop whenever people got into fight just like Juror#4. In the movie we could also see his feeling of responsibility towards the old man.

2.7 Juror#7- Irresponsible, Irrational

We realized that Juror#7 was the most irresponsible and irrational. He wanted the discussion to finish as fast as possible so that he could go to watch a baseball match. To him, the life of a person was like a child play to him. He did not fulfill his responsibility as a jury which makes him low on conscientiousness. He related the boy’s past offences to judge him as guilty.

2.8 Juror#8- High in conscientiousness, Emotionally Stable

Next, Juror#8 is the most important character in the story, because of him everybody started to think the case from a ‘what if’ situation. He felt responsible for the boy’s life, he presented his opinion with logic, he thought about the reliability of the evidence presented in the court, he put a lot of effort to show the leaks in the evidences (e.g. the knife, the old man testimony about seeing the boy running down the stairs, women who saw the murder from a moving train). This proves he is high on conscientiousness. He was emotionally stable even though he was frequently questioned about his decision. Just once he lost temper for a bit because Juror#3 was not paying attention to his talk.

2.9 Juror#9- Old, Timid, Low Confidence Level

The negative personalities can be detected through Juror#9. He is very old and afraid to voice out his thought. His confidence level is low as he does not have the strength to argue with the other juries who were younger than him. He was threatened by Juror#10. At a point of time he wished he was younger to voice out his argument. However, he is a very good observer. He was the second not guilty voter. He changed his vote when he saw Juror#8’s view connects with his observation. His observing quality supported Juror#8’s doubt about the evidences throughout. His decision making was based on intuition where he himself also not sure whether the story told by the defendant was true or not. He just thinks that they need to discuss further before sending the defendant for the execution.

2.10 Juror#10- Hyper, Emotionally Unstable

The most emotional character was Juror#10 as he was the most hyper, emotionally unstable person in the group. He did not want to hear any argument that contradicts with his opinion about the boy, he shouted, yelled at those who thought the boy was not guilty. His judgment was discriminative. He referred the boy as trash, animals, drugged up person who do not care about people’s life and kill them without having any proper reason; he is just like other people who grow up in the slum.

2.11 Juror#11- Introvert

In contrast to Juror#10, Juror#11 has an introvert personality. He was not noticeable at the beginning of the movie. During the time of voting he raised up his hand with some hesitation after seeing the majority were raising hands to vote as guilty. At first he observed Juror#8, Juror#9 and Juror#5’s logic in voting not guilty then he changed his vote and started to share his opinion. He was open towards the facts presented by Juror#8, 9 and 10. Although he was calm all the way but when Juror#7 changed his vote to not guilty without giving any proper reason he burst out in anger seeing that childishness over a serious matter. This also shows that Juror#11 is conscientious.

2.12 Juror#12- Extrovert

Lastly, Juror#12 at the beginning tried to interact with other juries; it shows that he is an extrovert. But when the discussion started he did not expressed much, instead he was carried away with his own personal job. His agreeableness level was high. He did not have his own thinking or opinion on the case; he was easily distracted by the two parties (guilty and not guilty) in the discussion. When majority vote for ‘guilty’, then he raises his hand. He was unsure about his own decision. This decision making may be affected by his high agreeableness personalities that caused him to listen, or even follow others’ opinion without own judgment.


Actually, values were developed from a belief that people hold in. Hence, value is defined as specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence. Normally, they contain a judgmental element in that they carry an individual’s ideas as to what is right, good, or desirable. We realize values are important in this movie because they contain jurors’ interpretations of right and wrong. We will classify and interpret the values found in each characters of 12 Angry Men’s using Rokeach Value Survey which is consists of terminal values and instrumental values.

3.1 Juror#1-Equal Opportunity

As we know, foreman should be fairer and stress on equality. Juror#1 is the foreman of the jury. He has terminal value of equality which is equal opportunity for all juries to vote. He is serious about his authoritative role and wants to be as fair as possible to everyone. He offers everyone an equal opportunity to vote and speak out their opinion whether the boy guilty or not guilty. He also has instrumental values of broad-minded. He is open-minded in listening and accepting every juror’s opinion. For instance, he accepted the proposal of Juror#8 to have a round of secret vote. His broad-minded values also affected his decision making. He vote for ‘guilty’ at first, but with the reasonable doubt with all the evidence, he shift to ‘not guilty’ at last. His decision making was quiet rational and did not shift too often as what Juror#12 did.

3.2 Juror#2-Polite

Juror#2 is a quiet man who is easily persuaded by the opinions of others and cannot explain the roots of his opinions. He has instrumental values of polite. He is trying to voice out his own opinion with polite way. His politeness can be seen through the discussion process where he kept one asking question in a polite manner and gain respect from other Jurors.

3.3 Juror#3- Capable, Courageous

Now we move to another instrumental value, which are capable and courageous. Juror#3 has instrumental values of capable and courageous. He stands up for his belief that the boy is guilty based on the facts such as the switchblade used as the murder weapon and evidence from the witness. However, his strong belief on the defendant must guilty was also influenced by his bad relationship with his son who hit and left him, which thus lead him to be irrational in analyzing the reasonable doubt for those evidences and decisions made.

3.4 Juror#4-Logical, Broad-Minded

Juror#4 has instrumental values of logical and broad-minded. He logically related his decision with the evidences. On the other hand, he is also able to listen to other juries’ opinion. He was convinced by Juror#9 that the witness across the road may not really see what is happening at the murder place. He tries to support his own decision by further analysis of the facts with logical ways.

3.5 Juror#5-Forgiving, Logical

Next, we can find instrumental value of forgiving on Juror#5. Although he got offended when Juror#3 and Juror#10 criticizing him on his background, however he is still willing to forgive them. Witnessing knife fights and normal slum behaviour, he feels obligated to explain an experience that would later help the jurors vote “not guilty”. The ability to link his experience of knife fights and normal slum behaviour to this case whereby the defendant is also from slum shows that Juror#5 has instrumental value of intelligence in his thinking.

3.6 Juror#6-Respect, Loving

Now let us move to Juror#6 who has terminal values of respect and instrumental values of loving. He respects Juror#9 which is the eldest among them. He tries to let Juror#9 has the chance to voice out his opinion. Juror#6 bravely stands up to Juror #3 when he speaks rudely to Juror #9, threatening to hit Juror #3 if he ever speaks to the old man like that again.

3.7 Juror#7-Pleasure, Cheerful

Meanwhile, terminal values of pleasure and instrumental values of cheerful are clearly shown on Juror#7. He is a baseball fan. He bought two tickets to watch live baseball game on that particular day. During the break time of the discussion, everyone was tensed with how things going to be as a jury, but he still could talk with others cheerfully.

3.8 Juror#8-Logical, Responsible

Juror#8 has instrumental values of logical and responsible. He does not believe the evidence that presented by lawyer. He analyzed evidence by using logic. For instance, he questioned on the old man who claimed himself had taken fifteen seconds from his bedroom to rush to his front door and gotten a look on the murderer. He does not simply make a decision that may destroy the boy’s life. He feels that as one of the Juror, he has the responsibility to make a right decision. This is clearly shown when he first voted “not guilty” because he wants further discussion and not to decide the defendant’s life just within five minutes without any further discussion. Majority were trying to give some pressure to the Juror#8 for his odd decision. But the pressure could not shake off his decision; he stood strong with his own decision which was affected by his values.

3.9 Juror#9-Intellectual, Logical

Follow with Juror#9 who has instrumental values of intellectual and logical. Although he is the eldest among them still he paid a lot of attention during the trial and looked into detailed on every witness. He convinced Juror#4 on the reasonable doubt on the woman has deep marks on her nose, which means she is wearing spectacles and might not be able to see clearly on the murder case that happened across the road with train passed by and just got up from bed which is not putting on her spectacles. This shows how he used his intelligence and observance in daily life in this case.

3.10 Juror#10-Courageous

Next, Juror#10 has instrumental value of courageous. He is standing up for his belief that with the background of the boy comes from, which is born in a slum, the boy must be guilty. This has become his prejudice which caused him fail to think and decide rationally on whether the boy is guilty or not. Besides that, Juror#10 also has terminal value of self-respect. He holds very high esteem not to be someone from the slums. Juror#10’s decision making was affected by his perceptions towards the background of the defendant which occurred from his self-esteem values that want to be differentiated from people of that background.

3.11 Juror#11-Responsible

Instrumental value of responsible can be found on Juror#11. He felt the responsibility being juror to give the correct judgment on the defendant and believe in justice. Besides that, Juror#11 also has instrumental value of logical. He is observant with the facts and changed his vote to not guilty due to the doubt on whether the defendant would have reasonably fled the scene and come back three hours later to retrieve his knife. His decision is based on logical thinking about how a normal people might act after committing a murder.

3.12 Juror#12-An Exciting Life

Lastly, Juror#12 has terminal value of having an exciting life. He involves actively in social activities and his work. However, this has caused him often distracted during the discussion of the jury.

4.0 Attitude

Attitudes are evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events. Attitudes give warnings of potential problems and influence behavior. Attitudes have three components which are cognitive (evaluation), affective (feeling), and behavioral (action).

In this movie, most of the jurors have a positive attitude that the boy is guilty. They believe that the evidences are solid, which is the cognitive component for their attitude. Following with this, the affective component of their behaviour were set up whereby they feel the boy is guilty. Subsequently, it affected their behaviour component and they voted the boy is guilty.

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Conversely, Juror#8 has a different attitude compared to other Juries. He thinks there are a lot of reasonable doubts in the evidences yet no one questioned the validity of those evidences in the court. This has become the cognitive component for his negative attitude towards the boy is guilty. He feels that the boy might not be guilty, which is the affective component of his attitude. Because of this, he voted the boy as not guilty and wants to have a discussion with other jurors on the evidences.

5.0 Emotion and Mood

After discussing the personality and values depicted by the 12 Angry Men, emotion and moods are two other important variables that affect decision making process. Actually, emotions are intense feelings directed at someone or something while moods are less intense feelings than emotions and often lack a contextual stimulus. In addition, emotions are reactions to a person or an event but moods usually are not directed at a person or an event (Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2013) Organizational Behavior). In 12 Angry Men movie, decisions making of 12 juries whether that young boy guilty or not guilty are always affected by their emotions and moods. Thus, having a stable emotion is necessary for them to make a rational decision.

5.1 Juror#1- Mood: Neutral to Bad; Emotion: Frustration

Juror#1 is the foreman of the jury and he shows his leadership at first and neutral mood. However, he gets frustrated when other jurors questioned his leadership. He wants to be as fair as possible and try to maintain a relaxed and calm mood when discussion is going on. Luckily, he was able to regulate back his emotion to normal state and facilitate the discussion at the mid.

5.2 Juror#2- Mood: Anxious; Emotion: Nervous

On the other hand, Juror#2 is a quiet and the most timid guy in the group. Having his first time to deliberate in such jury case made him anxious and fear to voice out his opinion. He was easily persuaded by other jurors due to his lack of self confidence. Besides, he also failed to explain the roots of his opinion that grounded his decision at the beginning. However, his courage to voice out his opinion has been mounting as the discussion goes further.

5.3 Juror#3- Mood: Bad; Emotion: Angry

Let us move to the main antagonist of the movie, Juror#3. Juror#3 is a person who quick to lose his temper. His was having a bad mood since the beginning when he complains on the lawyers talked for so long even on such an obvious case. He gets angry when Juror#8 and other members disagree with his opinions, and his anger becomes stronger when other jurors change their vote from guilty to not guilty. He believes that the defendant is absolutely guilty until the very end of the play. His emotion gets affected in this case because he has poor relationship with his own son, which causes him to have biased views. Being in angry emotion and biased views has caused him irrational in making decision on guilty and not guilty for the defendant until the very end of the movie. His decision making was based on his own experience that does not related much to the trial.

5.4 Juror#4- Mood: Neutral; Emotion: Calm

We realize that Juror#4 is a logical and well-spoken stockbroker. Being rational while maintaining his calm mood allowed him to have the most stable emotion throughout the discussion and able to discuss and make decisions rationally. For instance, he urges fellow jurors to avoid emotional arguments and engage in rational discussion. When one of the jurors says “this is not an exact science”, he does not take into account the feelings, the passions and the characters of the people involved in the case. Other than that, most of the jurors’ mood has been affected and they got frustrated easily as they were staying in a no air-conditioned room in a hot sunny day. Yet, under this hot environment, he is the only juror that does not take his jacket off and always adapt for logical thinking and able to make reasonable decision.

5.5 Juror#5- Mood: Anxious to Neutral; Emotion: Nervous

Next, Juror#5 has an anxious mood when expressing his opinion especially in front of the elder members of the group. He is under emotional stress because of having the same background with the boy which is growing up in the slums. This appears one of the main reasons for him voting guilty at first because he does not want compassion to influence his decision. However as the trial goes on he is able to gain more confident to voice out his opinion and sharing his experience on knife fights and normal slum behaviour that convinced other jurors’ there is reasonable doubt on the evidences. This makes him emotionally more stable and his mood also back to neutral. Juror#5’s decision was affected by his emotion whereby at first he passes his chance to give reason why he voted ‘guilty’ for the trial which maybe feeling of ashamed for having the same background with the defendant that is living in slum, uneducated and bad environmental where knife fighting was just a common phenomena.

5.6 Juror#6- Mood: A little tensed; Emotion: Calm

Juror#6 is a regular employee that has high agreeableness to others. He has little tense mood because of everyone in the room is better qualified than him in making decisions and offering explanations and opinions. However he has a stable emotion that enables him to see the good in others.

5.7 Juror#7- Mood: Good to Bad; Emotion: Frustration

Juror#7 is the only one that really has no opinion on this case. This can be shown by when he follows others suggestion and changes his vote easily just because he wants to go back home early. One of the sources of emotions and mood which is social activities has influenced his mood throughout the discussion. He felt happy at the beginning as he could go to watch live baseball game. However, his mood turned down and get frustrated when the discussion takes longer. His emotion and decision making was distracted by the baseball game as he wanted to speed things up a bit so he can be out of the jury room as soon as possible to enjoy his baseball game.

5.8 Juror#8- Mood: Neutral to Good; Emotion: Determined and Calm

In contrast to Juror#7, Juror#8 stands firm on his decision grounded with his reasonable doubt on the evidences. Juror#8 is a caring man and he feels the responsibility to care about the boy’s life. Maintaining a stable emotion enables Juror#8 have a logical mind and able to make a rational decision. He has put more thoughts into the case than any other jurors which make him able to prove and explain the situation in different ways to persuade other jurors change their vote. For example, he bought the same knife used as murder weapon that is not ordinary and tried to prove the reasonable doubts on those witnesses such as the old man who drags one foot when he walks because of stroke, able to rush to the front door from his bedroom which is quite distance away in fifteen seconds and managed to look on the murderer. Juror#8 also has high emotional intelligence in this movie that he always shows the right feeling and knows how to control his own emotion even every other juror has voted guilty but he is the only one to vote not guilty at the first. Besides that, Juror#8 urges others to be patience with the discussion and contemplate the details of the case.

5.9 Juror#9- Mood: Neutral; Emotion: Calm

Next, Juror#9 is a wise old man with his great life experience and he has quite a unique way of looking at this case. His calm and relaxed mood allows him to think logically and be a good observer. He is the first one who realizes the woman, who testified that she saw the murder, had deep marks on the side of her nose and it means she wears glasses. This has put on reasonable doubt that the woman who just got out from bed may not wearing glasses, and thus it is likely for her not able to see clearly the murder across the road. He has high positive mood which is alert. For instance, he is the first to openly recognize Juror#10’s racist attitude, stating that “What this man says is very dangerous.”

5.10 Juror#10- Mood: Bad; Emotion: Angry

Let us proceed to Juror#10. Juror#10 is the most horrifying character in this movie. He tries to force his opinion of guilty to other jurors and gets angry easily when other juror’s opinion is not same with him. He votes guilty and does not even try to hide the fact that he does so because of the boy’s social background. He has a strong stereotyping attitude and this stopped him to think rationally and voted the boy guilty just because of the boy’s background. This has lead to other jurors turning their back on him near the end of the movie after his outburst that shows his prejudice on the defendant.

5.11 Juror#11- Mood: Neutral; Emotion: Calm

When we come to Juror#11, we know that he is an immigrant watchmaker. He believes in justice and feels he is responsible to make the correct judgment for the case. He tries to keep himself calm and relaxed throughout the discussion. This stable emotion allows him able to look at both sides of the problem. However, Juror#11 lost his temper once when he was horrified by juror#7 who voted not guilty just because want to make the trial ends as soon as possible.

5.12 Juror#12- Mood: Anxious; Emotion: Nervous

Eventually, Juror#12 is an arrogant and impatient advertising executive. He has an anxious mood for the discussion to be over so that he can get back to his career and his social life. His decision gets affected by his nervous mood. This can be shown by when he change his vote easily just to follow majority and do not have his own opinion.

6.0 Other Variables That Affects Decision Making Process

6.1 Hot Environment

Besides the abovementioned variables like personality, values, attitudes, emotions and moods, external factor do affect the decision making process also. One of the most prominent external factors is the environment for the discussion room. When all the jurors entered the discussion room, they found that the room was hot due to the breakdown of the air-conditioner. As a result, all the jurors just kept on finding ways to make the rooms more ventilated instead of seeking for discussion. So, the morale of all jurors has been lowered down by the hot and non-conducive environment and affects the discussion process. Definitely, they would just hope that the discussion may be ended up quickly and this drives them to make illogical decision.

6.2 Stereotype

Next, the shortcut of stereotyping people used by the eleven jurors except Juror #8 in judging the suspected murderer will affect the decision making process too. Juror #3 has related his son with the suspected murder attitude. In fact, the Juror#3 did not get along with the suspected murderer attitude. He said that “How kids are nowadays.” He mentioned that he had a bad relationship with his son after his son hit him. Following his bad experiences, Juror#3 perceived that all teenagers were rebellious and will attack his own father. So, his stereotyping attitude has affected his decision making process and made him stressing that “The boy is guilty”. Another prominent stereotyping judgment can be discovered through the accusation of Juror#10 that the boy was deemed to be guilty was due to his family background. He cited that the suspected murder’s slum background as the evidence for him to kill his father. Undoubtedly, this stereotyping attitude will affect their decision making especially Juror#3 and Juror#5 and vote the boy to be guilty.

6.3 Bounded Rationality and positive Intuition

Apart from those discussed variables, Juror#8 has exhibited the positive elements in making rational decision. The positive elements are bounded rationality and positive intuition. Juror#8 has constructed simplified models model that extract the essential features from problems without capturing the complexities. For example, Juror#8 has questioned about the validity of the old man’s testimonial. Hence, he extracted the essential features that “Can the old man who had suffered a stroke and could only walk slowly, gotten to the door to see the suspected murderer ran to the downstairs in fifteen second?” in a clear manner. Furthermore, the Juror#8 also has portrayed positive intuition that mentioned that he felt the boy will not kill his father and there is a doubt about the validity of the witness’s testimonial. He once told other Juror “You don’t believe the boy, then why you believe the women?”

6.4 Overconfidence bias

However, there are several decision biases and errors happened throughout the hot discussion among those 12 angry Jurors. The first common bias shown by majority of Jurors except 8th Juror is overconfidence bias. This can be evidence through the opening of the scene where majority of the Jurors were complaining and presuming the obvious guilt of the suspected murderer. Most of them were overconfidence that the defendant had definitely killed his father. Besides that, when there was a new doubt arose like switchable knife that was not as unique as the Juror mention, most of them just upset that they were still arguing the facts and cannot go home. Hence, their overconfidence about defendant was the murderer causes them could not have a rational discussion and develop reasonable doubt. Luckily, there was 8th Juror tried to lead the team to the rational path.

6.5 Anchoring Bias

Furthermore, we can detect numerals biases rooted in the mind of the Juror#3. Fro


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