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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
247 posts

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  • May 29, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 37 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
  • 56 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
  • 68 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
  • 88 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
  • 83 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
  • 87 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
  • 28 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
  • 79 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
  • 101 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
  • 72 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
  • 60 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
  • 148 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
  • 154 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 »

  • April 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 105 views

Lumbersexuals with tattoos: Are they new and improved? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Recently we blogged about an emerging demographic subgroup: the lumbersexual. After reading the flurry of mainstream media articles about this group, here is how we described them: “As far as we can tell, the lumbersexual is an urban male (typically White and heterosexual) who dresses like a lumberjack even though he is far from a […]

Related posts:
Wait! Could that be a  lumbersexual in your venire panel?
The Millennials (aka ‘Gen Y’): On tattoos, TMI, tolerance and technology
T........ Read more »

  • April 10, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 66 views

Pitfalls of the prevaricator 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Typically we write about newly published research here at The Jury Room. But one of our favorite blogs (Mind Hacks) wrote about this article and then we went to read the actual article and discovered it was authored by some of our favorite researchers. To top it all off, it’s about liars and deception. So […]

Related posts:
Lie with impunity and without detection
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
“You know who else lies?” she screeches. “LAWYERS lie!”


... Read more »

Chance Z, Norton MI, Gino F, & Ariely D. (2011) Temporal view of the costs and benefits of self-deception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 15655-9. PMID: 21383150  

  • April 8, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 61 views

Hipsters, SnapChat, Beer Goggles, and Pain 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here is another post detailing things you simply must be aware of but to which we don’t wish to devote an entire post. These might be seen as water-cooler topics or simply things that make you a much more interesting conversationalist. Or something like that. Why hipsters all look the same (it’s just math) You […]

Related posts:
“Blacks just don’t feel pain like White people do”
Which jurors most “feel” your client’s pain?
The new issue of The Jury Expert is available no........ Read more »

  • March 30, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 225 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “Hey, look over here for a second!” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This is sort of scary research. We all like to think our views on moral issues are pretty consistent and not easily shaken. That would be incorrect. They are not consistent and they are easily shaken. At least these are the conclusions reached by this research. We’ve written before about on which side of the […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Telling jurors where to look
Simple Jury Persuasion: Activate the ‘intuitive prosecutor’
Simple Jury Persuasion: It’s really prett........ Read more »

Pärnamets P, Johansson P, Hall L, Balkenius C, Spivey MJ, & Richardson DC. (2015) Biasing moral decisions by exploiting the dynamics of eye gaze. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 25775604  

  • March 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 204 views

Fire-setters: Psychotic and non-psychotic 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

There is a lot of literature on fire-setters but not, apparently, on how psychotic fire-setters differ from those who are not psychotic. As it turns out, there are some significant differences. Researchers in The Netherlands examined the records of 124 fire-setters (30 psychotic and 94 non-psychotic) sent for pretrial forensic mental health assessments between 2000 […]

Related posts:
But, your honor! That witness was drunk!
Can you trust the results of forensic evaluations on legal sanit........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 117 views

“We need smart jurors so we should keep the lighter skinned Black guy”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most of us have heard of the preference for lighter skin within the African-American community. Some of us have also heard of “colorism” in general—a bias shared by many in our culture. Recently, author Lance Hannon (a sociologist from Villanova University) used data from the 2012 American National Election Study and found that Whites in […]

Related posts:

Lighter Skin, More Like Me

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or ........ Read more »

Hannon, L. (2015) White Colorism. Social Currents, 2(1), 13-21. DOI: 10.1177/2329496514558628  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 122 views

“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the internet

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This week I read several sensationalized reports of research findings from some scientists in Finland. “Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia” and “Listening To Classical Music Could Improve Genes Responsible For Certain Brain Functions”. The articles reported that listening to a 20 minute Mozart violin concerto could stave off dementia and […]

Related posts:
No one knows you’re a dog on the internet (actually, they do!)
Another look at who lies…
Will ........ Read more »

Brown, M. J., Henriquez, E., & Groscup, J. (2008) The effects of eyeglasses and race on juror decisions involving a violent crime. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 26(2), 25-43. info:/

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