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Social science research, current events & jury news all viewed through the lens of litigation advocacy with an emphasis on persuasion, bias, communication, and all phases of case preparation.

Rita Handrich
3 posts

Doug Keene
301 posts

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  • September 21, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 91 views

Interracial marriage is more accepted in 2016, except for those who find it “icky”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written about American attitudes toward interracial marriage a fair amount here and (at least once) questioned poll results suggesting dramatic improvement in attitudes toward  interracial marriage among Americans (an 87% approval rating?!). While interracial relationships may be more acceptable to many more Americans, there is also the recent report of an attack on an […]

Related posts:

So we cannot talk about race but we overwhelmingly approve interracial marriage?

S........ Read more »

  • September 19, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 84 views

This and that: Heat, attraction, smoking pot,  smartphones, tattoos and stature

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s time again for a combination post of things that didn’t make the cut for a full post but that we thought interesting (or odd) enough to want to share with you. We hope you enjoy this latest collection of factoids that will make you memorable when (and if) you re-share them. Hot, hot, hot: […]

Related posts:
Tattoos as a restorative act (for college-aged women anyway) 
Can you assess juror morality by counting tattoos?
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”


... Read more »

Noelke, C., McGovern, M., Corsi, D., Jimenez, M., Stern, A., Wing, I., & Berkman, L. (2016) Increasing ambient temperature reduces emotional well-being. Environmental Research, 124-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.06.045  

  • September 13, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 131 views

Impaneling a jury? Remember this (and that) during voir dire! 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a round-up of articles that could be “all about voir dire” or simply interesting things to ponder as you go about your daily tasks. You may not think of Lemony Snicket as an expert on voir dire but he may have a point with the quote illustrating this post when it comes to voir […]

Related posts:
Should political orientation matter in voir dire?
Voir Dire Fundamentals: Look for trouble, not for friends
Voir Dire Strategy: Who’s the authoritarian?


... Read more »

  • August 26, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 232 views

Juvenile offenders, divorce likelihood, assessing conscious awareness  and myth-busting in 2016

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s another collection of tidbits that did not stimulate full posts but that we found interesting enough to share with you so that you can investigate them more for yourself if you so desire. While this post contains more serious information than we usually share in these sorts of posts, it is useful information to […]

Related posts:
Myth-busting: ”Today’s adults have a shorter attention span than a goldfish” 
So is that juvenile offender a “wayward youth” or a “superpr........ Read more »

  • August 24, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 234 views

Psychopathy Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R) Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We wrote about this scale in our last post when researchers (trying to convince the reader there is such a thing as a good psychopath for you to hire) used it in a study of German adults. The PPI-R is apparently a measure of psychopathy that is able to “detect relatively mild levels of psychopathy […]

Related posts:
The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale
The Dirty Dozen Scale 


... Read more »

Lilienfeld, S. O., & Widows, M. R. (2005) Psychological Assessment Inventory–Revised (PPI-R). Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources. info:/

  • August 22, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 235 views

Listen up, HR folks! There are ‘good’ psychopaths for you to hire!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

How to hire the "good psychopath"? ... Read more »

  • August 19, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 280 views

Psychopaths brains work differently—at least when  they are criminal psychopaths

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This will shock you, or maybe relieve you: Psychopaths are different from the rest of us. Here’s another article saying there are measurable differences in how the brains of how criminal psychopaths work (and look) when compared to non-criminal psychopaths (those who have psychopathic traits but have not been convicted of criminal offenses) and non-psychopaths. […]

Related posts:
Is this a new treatment for adult criminal psychopaths? 
I want to believe some psychopaths have feelings........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 243 views

Slow motion videos and juror perception of time for  intentional acts

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

New research tells us you may not want to have slow motion videos played at trial if you are the defense attorney. However, if you are the prosecutor—push hard for that video! It’s really a simple lesson: when jurors see slowed down footage of an event, they are more likely to think the person on […]

Related posts:
Do you want to make your juror “think fast”?
“Aggression genes”, Asperger’s and Absolution (for criminal acts)
Trustworthiness, real adulthood, cat videos and h........ Read more »

Caruso, E., Burns, Z., & Converse, B. (2016) Slow motion increases perceived intent. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201603865. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1603865113  

  • August 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 319 views

Attribute amnesia, uninterrupted eye contact, fMRI bugs, and women  driven out of STEM careers

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here are a few articles that did not act as a catalyst to stimulate an entire post but that tweaked our fancy enough that we wanted to share them with you. Think of them as “rescue items” if you have social anxiety and want to seem scintillating….or something like that. So have you seen this […]

Related posts:
Ten minutes of uninterrupted eye contact causes hallucinations and other important things 
Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly
Science knowledge, ob........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2016
  • 11:24 AM
  • 305 views

Measuring Contemptuousness: The  Dispositional Contempt Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You know contempt when you see it (usually) and you know contempt when you feel it (almost always). But what does contempt look like according to researchers? They call it “an emotional reaction when a person or a group violates one’s standards and one looks down on them with the tendency to distance and/or derogate […]

Related posts:
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale
The Disgust Scale: How have........ Read more »

Schriber, R., Chung, J., Sorensen, K., & Robins, R. (2016) Dispositional Contempt: A First Look at the Contemptuous Person. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000101  

  • August 2, 2016
  • 11:23 AM
  • 269 views

“Typical-looking faces” are seen as more trustworthy 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Typical looking faces are not the most attractive in the view of others but they are the most trustworthy. This reminds us of the post we wrote a while back about how to appear intelligent, trustworthy and attractive when you need corrective lenses (i.e., wear rimless glasses). In this case, (published in the journal Psychological […]

Related posts:
When you wear glasses you are less attractive but more smart and trustworthy
How leaders look: Competent and trustworthy, but not dominant
........ Read more »

  • July 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 120 views

The power of curiosity and other things you want to know 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s time for another installment of strange tidbits we’ve gathered as we have read potential articles for blog posts. This week we have information on why you would stick something icky and repulsive into your mouth, online anonymity, bias against homosexuals, and what horrible things can happen should you choose to ‘unfriend’ that person on […]

Related posts:
Pandora’s Box: The internet, the power of ‘knowledge’, and irrepressible juror curiosity
Science knowledge, object........ Read more »

Hsee CK, & Ruan B. (2016) The Pandora Effect: The Power and Peril of Curiosity. Psychological Science, 27(5), 659-66. PMID: 27000178  

  • July 1, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 198 views

Identifying deception: “Look for indirect cues” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here is some new research that says while we cannot identify liars through our intuition — there are ways we can increase our ability to identify liars. Most of you know that successful lie detection is not something at which the majority of us are skilled. New research suggests a way to improve deception detection […]

Related posts:
Does familiarity improve our skill at identifying liars?
Four nonverbal behaviors that point to deception
Deception Detection: The latest on what we know........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2016
  • 10:06 AM
  • 128 views

Another explanation for poor eye witness IDs:  Memory Blindness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This isn’t really about bad memory—it’s about something much scarier—the power of others to modify your memory without your awareness. New research out of California tells us that it is possible to change the statements of the person giving testimony in such a way that they may not even notice! To make matters worse, it […]

Related posts:
Eyewitness identification and change blindness
The impact of the apparently unreliable co-witness
Wait! What did I say last time?


... Read more »

  • June 20, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 266 views

Flushing toilets to sway legislators: Is it a true  delusion or just an “over-valued belief”?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I first heard the term “over-valued belief” back in the mid-1990’s when I worked in forensic rehabilitation with a man adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity. He had been very ill (psychotic) and very violent when unmedicated (and had killed more than once due to delusional beliefs) but had been in treatment and well-medicated […]

Related posts:
“Belief Perseverance”: Correcting false information without inadvertently reinforcing it
The better than average effect ........ Read more »

Rahman T, Resnick PJ, & Harry B. (2016) Anders Breivik: Extreme Beliefs Mistaken for Psychosis. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 44(1), 28-35. PMID: 26944741  

  • June 17, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 266 views

Will checking your DNA for ancestry information make you  more racist?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

In a word, maybe. Apparently, it all depends on whether your focus is on differences between you and others or similarities when it comes to genetic makeup. The researchers had Jewish and Arab participants read a new articles which (naturally) cited a scientific article reporting either high genetic similarities or high genetic differences between Jews […]

Related posts:
Can you identify racist jurors by asking if they watch local  TV news?
Racist roads not taken and prejudice-based agg........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 438 views

The Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS) 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We posted earlier this week about the new concept of “maladaptive daydreaming” and those researchers published a second article on an actual 14-item scale to assess whether a specific individual is a maladaptive daydreamer. Since it’s a strange area that may end up in the courtroom—we thought we’d share information and some of the items […]

Related posts:
The Motivation to Express Prejudice Scale 
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale


... Read more »

Somer E, Lehrfeld J, Bigelsen J, & Jopp DS. (2016) Development and validation of the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS). Consciousness and Cognition, 77-91. PMID: 26707384  

  • June 13, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 378 views

Maladaptive daydreaming: The next legal defense theory? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Remember Walter Mitty? He was a fictional character who escaped his dull day-to-day existence by constructing elaborate daydreams wherein he was the hero rather than a wallflower. Well, apparently Walter was not so unusual. There are people who spend as much as 60% of their time lost in daydreams. These are people who realize their […]

Related posts:
Can you trust the results of forensic evaluations on legal sanity?
Legal decisions that tick jurors off
Will your genetic defense for that........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 274 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “This is really about morality” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a research finding that some might call a “silver bullet” for litigation advocacy. We are always looking for nuggets of wisdom in research findings and this is one we think makes a lot of sense for use in court. These researchers wanted to see if people could “be induced to view their own attitudes […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make them eat brussel sprouts
Simple Jury Persuasion: “Hey, look over here for a second!” 
Simple Jury Persuasion: You lookin’........ Read more »

Luttrell, A., Petty, R., Briñol, P., & Wagner, B. (2016) Making it moral: Merely labeling an attitude as moral increases its strength. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 82-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.04.003  

  • June 6, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 240 views

Acetaminophen: Or why you have to read more than the  headlines when it comes to research

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

John Oliver recently took on mass media coverage of scientific findings on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight. The result is a searing video mocking the distortions and misinterpretations (and even flat-out lies) about research findings as presented in mass media. Since his episode aired (a link to the video is at the end of […]

Related posts:
Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science
Top 10 Most Read Posts During 2012!
Pew Research says 15% of Ame........ Read more »

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