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
257 posts

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  • August 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 58 views

Talking about climate change without  knee-jerk responses from listeners

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We recently posted new research on the secret to combatting distrust of science. Now we have more research on how to talk about climate change without setting off automatic and defensive reactions from listeners. Not many of our readers are going to be litigating climate change issues, but the challenge of discussing complex scientific issues […]

Related posts:
How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…
Eyewitness identification and change blindness
Are conse........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 12 views

This and that: The secret to crowdfunding success, cold offices,  and nosy smartphones

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s another collection of interesting tidbits that don’t rate an entire blog post on their own but that we think worthy of mention. Think of them as our contribution to your conversational contributions over dinner, drinks, or to fill that awkward silence that pops up unexpectedly. Be thin, White and attractive for crowdfunding success! It’s […]

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A law firm’s financial success & the managing partners’ face
Intergenerational Law Offices and Intergenerationa........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 118 views

The Bias Awareness Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a new way to measure our awareness of our own biases in four easy questions. Yes. Four. We are constantly writing about bias here and when we see ways to measure bias it is usually convoluted or prohibitively expensive, or contains language not suitable for courtroom use. This scale, however, is different—it is short […]

Related posts:
The Bias Blind Spot Scale 
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims


... Read more »

  • August 10, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 104 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Do you follow your head or your heart?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

And….do you think I can now guess your opinion on abortion? And brain death? It’s like a dream-state voir dire question. Today’s researchers used 8 different studies to explore the relationship between participants identifying with either the head or the heart and the participants’ positions on various hot-button issues. It’s a question that has been […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: When your Muslim female client wears a head-covering
Simple Jury Persuasion: Tilt your........ Read more »

Adam, H, Obodaru, O, & Galinsky, AD. (2015) Who you are is where you are: Antecedents and con sequencing of locating the self in the brain or the heart. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 74-83. info:/

  • August 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 144 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Combatting distrust of science  

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The art of persuasion is often complex and diverse, but today’s study also shows how it can be simple and elegant. Here’s a surprisingly easy way to diminish the automatic, knee-jerk and distrusting reaction to scientific findings. Tell your listeners about scientific consensus. Today’s researchers call consensus a “gateway belief” that results in the ability […]

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

  • July 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 154 views

Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It makes sense. If someone is rude to you, you might become grumpy and be rude in response, or rude to those who cross your path in the wake of the mistreatment. You may think of this as a small issue but new research shows us that rude behaviors are actually harmful—and, in fact, as […]

Related posts:
The Workplace Ostracism Scale: Making the subjective objective?
Fat bias in the workplace
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?


... Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 73 views

70% of evangelicals do not see religion and science as in  conflict

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

At least those are the findings of the Religious Understandings of Science (RUS) study which is based on a “nationally representative survey of more than 10,000 Americans”. Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), this study (completed in early 2014) hit the media about a year later. Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund […]

Related posts:
Religion, ethnicity and Asian-American’s voting patterns
Choosing science over beliefs: Frequency of dog bites a........ Read more »

Ecklund, EH, & Scheitle, C. (2014) Religious Communities, Science, Scientists, and Perceptions:A Comprehensive Survey. Annual Meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. . info:/

  • July 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 132 views

Things you always wondered about—probably  not so much

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here again is a collection of tidbits we don’t deem worthy of a complete blog post but which might be of interest or even amusing to you. Social media is how we get our news these days While you may think Twitter is receding in importance, the numbers beg to differ. A new Pew Research […]

Related posts:
Narcissism and Social Media Use
Panic on Tweet Street: “Without Twitter, I felt jittery and naked”
Are Millennials unaware of  current events?


... Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 58 views

The Donald Trump Effect:  Press coverage can determine public opinion and maybe election outcomes

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Donald Trump has been getting a lot of press since he announced his candidacy for President. He is labeled a racist by critics, yet leads the polls of Republican presidential candidates. CNN has an explanation of why they think Trump continues to poll so well (he is attacking fellow Republicans and connecting with angry voters […]

Related posts:
Does desire trump beliefs based on facts when evaluating scientific evidence?
Predicting case outcomes? Lawyers are pretty dismal at it!
“70%........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 144 views

“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a model!” [#humblebrag]

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Oh the “humblebrag”. It’s really not that long since career counselors were suggesting interview questions asking about weaknesses could be turned to the candidate’s advantage by responding about an alleged weakness that was really a strength. (“Weakness? I think I tend to be perfectionistic. I just can’t send in a report without double-checking it for […]

Related posts:
I bought a house that is simply too  big and now I have to hire a cleaning service… 
The Sensitivity t........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 145 views

Qui Tam: What if the whistleblower is the lawyer? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve worked on several qui tam cases where mock jurors have been suspicious of the motivations for the whistleblower given the huge amounts of money they stand to make. So what if the whistleblower is the [current or former] lawyer? There’s a really interesting article in SSRN on the ethical issues surrounding lawyers blowing whistles. […]

Related posts:
Predicting case outcomes? Lawyers are pretty dismal at it!
False Confessions: “No one really does that unless they’re just stu........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 126 views

Why good people do bad things (and how to stop) 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s a really easy solution to our tendency to sometimes do bad things: be aware of the temptation and think of the longterm consequences of the behavior. It’s a simple answer to a vexing problem that has been with us for millennia. Researchers wanted to see how identifying an ethical conflict and considering the long-term […]

Related posts:
Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the female?
Women are easily misled so why not lie to them in negotiations?
You can stop smok........ Read more »

  • July 10, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 107 views

Can you identify racist jurors by asking if they watch local  TV news?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

So here’s a voir dire fantasy: When race is salient to your case, strike for cause all potential jurors who say they watch their local television news. For what cause? Because they’re more likely to be racist—at least according to today’s research. Local news coverage tends to focus on crime according to the researchers and […]

Related posts:
HDTV Jurors: What do you watch on TV?
How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…
Non-citizen? Undocumented? Wa........ Read more »

Arendt, F, & Northup, T. (2015) Effects of long-term exposure to news stereotypes on implicit and explicit attitudes. International Journal of Communication,, 732-751. info:/

  • July 8, 2015
  • 02:52 PM
  • 195 views

Group discussion (think juror deliberation) improves lie  detection

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Want to see a lively argument? Ask a couple of legal professionals if jurors can detect deception in witnesses or parties— and then slowly back away. It’s a hotly debated topic with some saying “jurors usually get it right” and others pointing to reams of research saying no one is a very good lie detector. […]

Related posts:
Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
“Almost perfect lie/truth detection”: Incentives to lie
Lie with impunity and without detection


... Read more »

Klein N, & Epley N. (2015) Group discussion improves lie detection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS], 112(24), 7460-5. PMID: 26015581  

  • July 3, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 129 views

Trustworthiness, real adulthood, cat videos and how open you are to experiences 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s another installment of things we think you might want to know but to which we don’t wish to devote an entire blog post. Keep reading to have tidbits worthy of sound bytes over drinks. The onset of ‘real’ adulthood Five years ago we were distressed to discover that middle age begins at 35 and […]

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There is a “naive faith in the trustworthiness of brain imaging data”
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
Your online av........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 123 views

The Bias Blind Spot Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written about the bias blind spot here before and now there is an actual scale to measure your specific bias blind spot (since, as it turns out, we all have one or more). You may wish to disagree with the statement that we all have a bias blind spot. That is precisely why it’s […]

Related posts:
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Outsmarting your biases & helping jurors outsmart theirs too
Pretrial publicity & bias: Take a look at the age of your j........ Read more »

Scopelliti, I., Morewedge, C., McCormick, E., Min, H., Lebrecht, S., & Kassam, K. (2015) Bias Blind Spot: Structure, Measurement, and Consequences. Management Science, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2014.2096  

  • June 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 204 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 […]

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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
  • 100 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
  • 183 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
  • 195 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  

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