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
206 posts

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  • July 9, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 20 views

So can you explain how that works in your own words?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We do a lot of pretrial research where complicated processes, inventions, ideas, software, tools, widgets, and other intellectual property ideas are explained. And we do a lot of pretrial research where something that doesn’t seem complicated (like a family estate, for example) gets very complicated, very quickly. We’ve found there are often vocal mock jurors […]

Related posts:
Playing the race card: When it works and why it doesn’t
False Confessions: “No one really does that unl........ Read more »

Fernbach PM, Rogers T, Fox CR, & Sloman SA. (2013) Political extremism is supported by an illusion of understanding. Psychological Science, 24(6), 939-46. PMID: 23620547  

  • July 7, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 16 views

Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Seriously. Sheep are believers and goats are doubters. In the paranormal, that is. The Australian Sheep Goat Scale is not a measure we’d ever heard of prior to writing about skepticism as a narrative tool in convincing others of a paranormal event. Perhaps it never really caught on. But we knew you would want to […]

Related posts:
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Brainpower, Beliefs and Racial Bias: Is this smart research?
I’ll show you who’s boss: ........ Read more »

Thalbourne, MA, & Delin, PS. (1993) A new instrument for measuring the sheep-goat variable: Its psychometric properties and factor structure. . Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 172-186. info:/

  • July 4, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 17 views

“The Bolshevik Revolution” and other things you might want to know…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We read a lot and routinely run across tidbits we think you might enjoy and that we would not really want to use an entire blog post to discuss. So here are a few things from here and there that we’ve found in our travels… Can’t remember all those complicated passwords? It’s a complication of […]

Related posts:
The Sensitivity to Mean Intentions (SeMI) Model
“Look inside yourself at the very best you there is….”
Everyday racism: A comparison of African American and........ Read more »

Hepper, E., Hart, C., & Sedikides, C. (2014) Moving Narcissus: Can Narcissists Be Empathic?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. DOI: 10.1177/0146167214535812  

  • June 11, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 80 views

Facebook as a conduit for misinformation and racism

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We first saw this article on Eye on Psych blog and thought it interesting for our use as well. The Eye on Psych blog had previously focused on the assumption that not being on Facebook makes you somehow unsavory (because, after all, everyone should be on Facebook!). The study we are going to describe today […]

Related posts:
Facebook Graph Searches: What Can You Discover?
The hypercorrection effect: Correcting misinformation and false beliefs
How upset do we need to be about racism?


........ Read more »

  • June 6, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 114 views

“Look inside yourself at the very best you there is….”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you’ve read us for any length of time at all, you know we love this strategy to increase empathy and reduce bias in civil cases. Today we are looking at new research relevant to criminal work that shows how empathy (and the resulting perspective-taking) drives decisions about responsibility and guilt, sentencing, and leniency. This […]

Related posts:
Playing the race card: When it works and why it doesn’t
Your online avatar and your real-world behavior
Which jurors most “feel........ Read more »

Skorinko, J., Laurent, S., Bountress, K., Nyein, K., & Kuckuck, D. (2014) Effects of perspective taking on courtroom decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(4), 303-318. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12222  

  • June 2, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 77 views

You wanted to be a leader! Act like one! (or else)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about women and leadership before. While some new research shows female leaders handle stress more effectively than male leaders, we’re not going to write about that one today. Instead, here is a report on a study showing some other good news: women are no longer punished for behaving assertively in a leadership role! […]

Related posts:
This is what a good leader does not look like
Everyday racism at work: Hope for African American Women?
“It was ‘a man’s work’........ Read more »

  • May 28, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 114 views

How do you conduct online searches in jury selection?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The options for online searches of potential jurors seems to be a fast-moving target. Our experience is that often there is simply no time for more than the most cursory efforts that often happen during a very short voir dire session itself. In other cases, if there is time to conduct such research, sometimes the […]

Related posts:
Facebook Graph Searches: What Can You Discover?
An update on online research of potential jurors
Jury Selection: Art? Science? Or just a ‘gut’ feeling?
........ Read more »

Neal, TMS, Cramer, RJ, Ziemke, MH, & Brodsky, SL. (2013) Online searches for jury selection. Criminal Law Bulletin, 49(2). info:/

  • May 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 90 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Modifying your clients visual identity for trial

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written before about visual identity (in the context of covering inflammatory tattoos with makeup for trial) and want to point you to an article in the new issue of The Jury Expert. Bronwen Lichtenstein and Stanley Brodsky (neither of whom are depicted in the image for this post) have an article titled Moving From […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: The ‘Scott Peterson Effect’—Displayed remorse and conviction
Simple Jury Persuasion: Using the ‘Nerd Defense’
Simp........ Read more »

Lichtenstein, B, & Brodsky SL. (2014) Moving from hapless to hapful with the problem defendant. . The Jury Expert, 26(2). info:/

  • May 23, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 106 views

Eyewitness identification and change blindness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about change blindness (also known as inattentional blindness) before and it’s probably best known as including those experiments with the invisible gorillas. My personal favorite is the one where researchers hid their gorilla in brain scans and had radiologists review the slides. (And social science researchers wonder why professionals like radiologists usually just […]

Related posts:
Eyewitness testimony: It’s how you talk and who I think you are
When “I don’t k........ Read more »

  • May 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 159 views

Fat bias in the workplace

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It is likely not a surprise to you that there is a significant public bias against the obese. Frequent flyers are familiar with the feeling of dread as a morbidly obese passenger approaches your row and seems to slow down. But fat bias doesn’t just happen in confined spaces. Workplace incivility is often directed at […]

Related posts:
Should you ask your overweight female client to diet before trial?
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?
How ‘myside bias’ is related to your i........ Read more »

  • May 16, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 102 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Video evidence and screen size

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Is bigger better (hey, hey!–we’re talking about video monitors!)? We now have definitive evidence saying it all depends on your ultimate goal. According to this research, what your jurors see in the courtroom is going to affect their decisions during deliberations. While this is hardly news, the level of detail on how video screen size […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: The weaker the evidence, the more precise you become
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust = Moral Ou........ Read more »

  • May 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 125 views

Teary testimony from children is more credible

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s one that just makes intuitive sense. When children are testifying in court, teary testimony is thought to be more credible than stoic and controlled testimony from child victims of non-sexual crimes. At least so say aspiring lawyers in Sweden. Researchers developed four (5 minute long) videos using two child actors (one boy and one […]

Related posts:
Eyewitness testimony: It’s how you talk and who I think you are
The more feminine you appear, the more children you will want
W........ Read more »

Landström, S., Ask, K., Sommar, C., & Willén, R. (2013) Children's testimony and the emotional victim effect. Legal and Criminological Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/lcrp.12036  

  • May 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 115 views

I’ll show you who’s boss: The Spitefulness Scale

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve been down this road before and brought you the Depravity Scale, the Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies Scale, the Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale and the Islamophobia Scale. Now however, it’s time for a check on how spiteful you are. We all know spite when we see it. Dawdling in their parking space because […]

Related posts:
The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
The GASP scal........ Read more »

Marcus DK, Zeigler-Hill V, Mercer SH, & Norris AL. (2014) The Psychology of Spite and the Measurement of Spitefulness. Psychological Assessment. PMID: 24548150  

  • April 23, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 208 views

How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We just can’t keep up with all the research on racism. So today, instead of a single article, we’re going to cite 3 of them! They are all disturbing examples that racism is alive, well, and measurable.  Was s/he a good professor? We’ve all sat through disorganized and incoherent lectures at some point in our […]

Related posts:
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
“I guess what he said wasn’t that bad”
Racist roads not taken and prejudice........ Read more »

Reid, L., & Birchard, K. (2010) The People Doth Protest Too Much: Explaining Away Subtle Racism. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29(4), 478-490. DOI: 10.1177/0261927X10377993  

Terbeck S, Kahane G, McTavish S, Savulescu J, Cowen PJ, & Hewstone M. (2012) Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias. Psychopharmacology, 222(3), 419-24. PMID: 22371301  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 228 views

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t […]

Related posts:
Should you ask your overweight female client to diet before trial?
Black? On trial in Florida? You don’t want an all-white jury!
Predic........ Read more »

Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, Ricordeau P, Weill A, Allemand H, Chosidow O, Boutron-Ruault MC, & Carbonnel F. (2014) Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(4), 563-9. PMID: 24535094  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 180 views

A new neurolaw caveat to minimize punishment

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was […]

Related posts:
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust........ Read more »

  • April 11, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 194 views

Smiling and credibility: Is it different for male and female witnesses at trial?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Women smile more than men. Men are typically seen as more credible than women. So these researchers decided to see if there was a relationship between smiling and assessments of credibility on actual witnesses in the courtroom.  The researchers used the Witness Credibility Scale to assess actual witnesses overall credibility. They thought that if smiling […]

Related posts:
Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly
Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the femal........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 186 views

Too trusting? You are likely also cursed with intelligence and good judgment!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We often associate people who are especially trusting with gullibility, low self-esteem, and lower intellectual function. However, we seem to have it backwards according to new research (which successfully replicates the results of studies from 2010 and 2012).  Intelligent people are more likely to trust others while those lower in intelligence are less likely to […]

Related posts:
How ‘myside bias’ is related to your intelligence
“Just about always” and “Never” responses to ........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 224 views

Just because I think they’re out to get me doesn’t mean they aren’t

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Not long ago we blogged about the reality that half of Americans believe in at least one public health conspiracy. The same researchers have now looked into other conspiracy theories and found similar trends: half of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory. So. Let’s take a look at what the researchers say about the sort […]

Related posts:
Osama bin Laden is dead and (simultaneously) Osama bin Laden lives!
Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!
Conspiracy........ Read more »

  • April 4, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 202 views

The better than average effect is even true in prison!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You remember the better than average effect. It’s what makes us evaluate ourselves as better than others. I’m a better driver than the average driver. I’m a better swimmer than other non-competitive swimmers. Or even, I’m a better citizen than those who, unlike me, are not in prison. Yes. “I’m in jail. They are not. […]

Related posts:
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity effect
Is it true that older jurors are more likely to convict?
The “hoodie effect̶........ Read more »

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