The Jury Room

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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
249 posts

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  • June 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 83 views

First world relationship termination problems: Facebook  “creeping” your ex

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve likely run across the statistics on Facebook being the cause of many divorces or relationship failures as unhappy individuals reunite with past loves lost. There is also of course, often heartbreak as online loves turn out to be not quite who you thought. Now Facebook is also implicated in prolonging the unhappiness after a […]

Related posts:
Facebook Graph Searches: What Can You Discover?
Facebook as a conduit for misinformation and racism
Is there a relationship between age a........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 34 views

Did Caitlyn Jenner feel “morally tainted”? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Caitlyn Jenner has been in the headlines pretty continuously since the publication of her Vanity Fair cover photo. And many of us have heard the voiceover quote from her about the number of years she has been in hiding, protecting secrets, and feeling imprisoned. “Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living […]

Related posts:
Got morals?
I’m disgusted (until I wash my hands and feel purified)
What’s a moral issue for us these days?


... Read more »

  • June 15, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 84 views

Feeling biased? Just go to sleep and wake up bias-free! 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

At least that’s what the headlines say. But the quieter truth of what the research says is enough for me: the intervention reduced implicit bias and the results held when re-measured one week later. Wow. This is pretty amazing stuff that needs to be used for good and not evil. Can you imagine? This means […]

Related posts:
Biased hearts, biased cameras and biased verdicts
Jury Selection: Art? Science? Or just a ‘gut’ feeling?
How ‘myside bias’ is related to your intelligence
........ Read more »

Hu X, Antony JW, Creery JD, Vargas IM, Bodenhausen GV, & Paller KA. (2015) Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep. Science (New York, N.Y.), 348(6238), 1013-5. PMID: 26023137  

  • June 10, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 114 views

Moving that body, predictable parents, ear worms and more… 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Every once in a while we find tidbits that we don’t wish to devote an entire post to but that we think worth sharing. Think of these as party trivia or sound bytes to help you seem intriguing and perhaps more well-read. The importance of moving: You’ve seen that infographic on how sitting is killing […]

Related posts:
When your parents help researchers make you believe  a lie 
Male body shame and aggression against women (“rape proclivity”)
“Unpleasant body odor” a........ Read more »

Beaman, C., Powell, K., & Rapley, E. (2015) Want to block earworms from conscious awareness? B(u)y gum!. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(6), 1049-1057. DOI: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1034142  

  • June 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 186 views

The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) Scale

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We just posted on reflective versus non-reflective thinkers and this is the scale with which researchers identified who was reflective (initial intuition tempered by analysis) and who was not reflective (unquestioning reliance on intuition). And this is the three-item scale they used to group participants. Yes. That is not a typo. Three questions. You will […]

Related posts:
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Disgust Scale: How have we missed this all this time?
“Electronic records don........ Read more »

Frederick, S. (2005) Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25-42. DOI: 10.1257/089533005775196732  

  • June 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 135 views

Black kids are troublemakers but White kids behave badly sometimes

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We know that Black and White students are treated differently (this author cites correlational studies across thousands of schools in the US showing this disparity) but this study shows us that you don’t have to physically see race to dispense differential treatment. Just believing race is probably present is enough. The concept in question is […]

Related posts:
Even kids don’t make passes at kids wearing glasses
Black victims of violent crimes aren’t treated any better by the syst........ Read more »

Okonofua JA, & Eberhardt JL. (2015) Two strikes: race and the disciplining of young students. Psychological Science, 26(5), 617-24. PMID: 25854276  

  • June 1, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 122 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Who is more likely to be convinced of the highly unusual?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a new and somewhat unusual perspective on persuasion. If you have an unusual explanation for your client’s behavior or motivations—is there a way to know which potential juror might be more predisposed to accept that unusual explanation? According to today’s research…maybe so. Researchers in France wanted to know if non-reflective thinkers (those who […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Educating jurors about science may have no effect
Simple Jury Persuasion: “Hey........ Read more »

  • May 29, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 140 views

I bought a house that is simply too  big and now I have to hire a cleaning service… 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Many of us have been taught to self-promote and we may even think others enjoy hearing of our successes. We’ve written about the principle of schadenfreude here before and if you recall those posts you may have already happily predicted that this will be a post about just how annoying those braggarts are to their […]

Related posts:
How big is that potential juror’s house? 
Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you
So. Are you simply a Millennial or are you j........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 138 views

The NoMoPhobia Scale (NMP-Q): What  happens when you are without your smartphone

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The smartphone has changed our lives. Just last fall, we wrote about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Scale. As a reminder, that post was about how smartphones allow us to obsessively check our email and social media sites to see what our friends and followers and family members are doing— out of a fear […]

Related posts:
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale
Stop looking at your smartphone & listen to me!
More than half of your potential jurors have  smartphones now


... Read more »

  • May 25, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 169 views

I want to believe some psychopaths have feelings 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us find the behavior of the true psychopath frightening enough that we have few issues with locking them up and throwing away the key. They seem so very different from us and hearing the facts of their behavior is frightening and leaves us feeling unsafe. If you are not afraid of the psychopath, […]

Related posts:
 Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?
Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “brains made them do it”
Is thi........ Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 159 views

The Dirty Dozen Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is not a scale to help you determine if your fruits and vegetables are dirty. This is for a different kind of dirt commonly referred to as the dark triad. Psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism make up the dark triad of personality traits and they are traits we all want to identify at different points […]

Related posts:
The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
I’ll show you who&#........ Read more »

Jonason PK, & Webster GD. (2010) The dirty dozen: a concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22(2), 420-32. PMID: 20528068  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 158 views

Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Conservative commentators like to say Barack Obama is cold and aloof (and narcissistic) because he uses so many personal pronouns in speeches. However, when compared to past Presidents, Obama’s personal pronoun use is actually lower than any President since 1945. It’s an interesting example of how our preexisting beliefs (and political orientation) skew how we […]

Related posts:
So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
R-rated pronouns and adjectives?
A scientific exp........ Read more »

Carey, AL, Brucks, MS, Küfner, ACP, Holtzman, NS, Deters, FG, Back, MD, Donnellan, MB, Pennebaker, JW, & Mehl, MR. (2015) Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me” “mine”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • May 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 142 views

Does the Millennial know that tattoo might be a business  faux pas?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about tattoos here and this writeup is going to be a little different from most of our posts. Rather than spending time on the research findings, we want to cite some of the more unusual and surprising findings the author reviews as a prelude to her results. So, to be brief, […]

Related posts:
Do you see that juror’s tattoo?
The new bumper sticker? Tattoos in the courtroom
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”


... Read more »

Foltz, KA. (2015) The Millennial’s perception of tattoos: Self expression or business faux pas? . College Student Journal. info:/

  • May 15, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 99 views

Black victims of violent crimes aren’t treated any better by the system than Black defendants …

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

In December of last year, we wrote about investigative case files in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of the findings in the analysis of those investigative files was this: Overall, say the researchers, cases with White female victims resulted in the highest number of case file pages (i.e., the most investigative work) and the most severe sentences. […]

Related posts:
Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Just because I t........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 137 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “I will give you this car for  $9,000.”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are always on the lookout for subtle but effective ways to persuade and here’s a new one. You are going to get more of what you want in any sort of negotiation if you use a very simple language style change. Instead of focusing on what the buyer stands to lose (in this case, […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: The “consider the opposite” strategy
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t tell me what to do!
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t confuse argument with persuasion


... Read more »

  • May 11, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 154 views

Is this a new treatment for adult criminal psychopaths? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Criminal psychopaths are a common topic we write about here. They are notoriously difficult to treat, but are so disturbing they make for fascinating study (and hopefully reading). Some say they are not treatable. They are highly likely to reoffend after incarceration and prison is neither a deterrent nor a punishment for many of them. […]

Related posts:
 Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?
Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “........ Read more »

Konicar L, Veit R, Eisenbarth H, Barth B, Tonin P, Strehl U, & Birbaumer N. (2015) Brain self-regulation in criminal psychopaths. Scientific reports, 9426. PMID: 25800672  

  • May 8, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 135 views

The distraction effect: “No, no, not your left side, the patient’s left  side…”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I grew up in a family where multiple siblings got confused about which way was right and which way was left. When I began to drive, I would make a capital R in the air with my right index finger to be sure I was turning the right way. Unbeknownst to me, my siblings had […]

Related posts:
The hypercorrection effect: Correcting misinformation and false beliefs
The prospective moral licensing effect: “I can be bad now because I’m sure I will be good in the future!”
Shooting the messe........ Read more »

McKinley, J, Dempster, M, & Gormley, GJ. (2015) ‘Sorry, I meant the patient’s left side’: Impact of distraction on left-right discrimination. . Medical Education, 427-435. info:/

  • May 4, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 125 views

Will a superhero pose increase your testosterone and cortisol?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about power poses before and the work being done by Amy Cuddy and her colleagues on how they increase both self-confidence and hormones like testosterone and cortisol. The research has become so widely known it was even featured on the Grey’s Anatomy television show recently with two surgeons striking a superhero pose prior […]

Related posts:
Does itemizing impairment increase damage awards in civil cases?
Witness Preparation: First impressions REALLY do matter!
Want t........ Read more »

  • May 1, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 208 views

“Exploding head syndrome”: Yes, it’s really a thing 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

I do not recall ever having heard of this sleep disorder before but apparently it is much more common than previously thought. At least by me, since to me it sounded like a”Jackass” stunt. This is an actual sleep disorder in which you are suddenly awakened by a loud sound akin to an explosion but […]

Related posts:
Columbo, Catfish, and Courthouse News: Be careful out there!
Trial Skills: A new issue of The Jury Expert is up!


... Read more »

  • April 24, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 202 views

“I know I shouldn’t text from the toilet,  but….”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

People take selfies at funerals and text during sex. Others text while in the shower or while using the toilet (which apparently is not just for newspapers and books any longer). And wherever there are social faux pas’ you can bet academic researchers are not far behind. In fact, today we have research on just […]

Related posts:
Be careful what you text!
Let’s see if you can text him from jail…
When the defendant texts the juror…


... Read more »

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