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
326 posts

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  • December 4, 2015
  • 12:02 PM
  • 721 views

Ponytails, earworms, tattoos on college women,  and emoticons

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here it is, our last 2015 collection of things you may find intriguing to know (or not) that we found in our travels but to which we do not choose to devote an entire post. For the most part, these tidbits are based in scientific research and have helped some academic somewhere to obtain tenure. […]

Related posts:
Lumbersexuals with tattoos: Are they new and improved? 
Tattoos: When should you clean up your witness?
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”


... Read more »

  • November 25, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 521 views

Will your genetic defense for that violent crime backfire? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The growing body of research on genetic variations and their relation to crime may leave you uncertain about how to best defend your client charged with a violent crime. Do you encourage jurors to support an insanity defense by using a genetic defense or does that route backfire and leave jurors seeing your client as […]

Related posts:
Teaching people about neuroscience can make them softer on crime!
The “Nerd Defense”: Redux
Automatism and the Ambien Defense


... Read more »

  • November 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 805 views

Guilt-proneness and the ability to recognize the emotions of  others

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Three years ago we wrote about the goodness of fit for the guilt-prone with the presiding juror position. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, there were a number of reasons supporting them in that role. And today, new research gives us another reason the guilt-prone may be more skilled at leadership—they are more able to identify […]

Related posts:
The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness
Should you want guilt-prone leaders for that jury?
Do we want convicted felons to........ Read more »

  • November 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 581 views

Why do people prefer food in sexist packaging? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

According to a new study in the journal Social Psychology, it’s because we are willing to pay more for less healthy food in macho packaging or healthier food in pretty feminine packaging. You may protest at being stereotyped in this way but, apparently it works (or food package designers wouldn’t do it) because it’s just […]

Related posts:
News Flash: Gay people are different than straight people
Republicans prefer ‘Republican-looking’ political candidates
Men prefer boxes and........ Read more »

Zhu, L., Brescoll, V., Newman, G., & Uhlmann, E. (2015) Macho Nachos. Social Psychology, 46(4), 182-196. DOI: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000226  

  • November 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 739 views

The Motivation to Express Prejudice Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We hear a lot more these days about covert or “modern prejudice” than we do about plain old overt prejudice. So it’s a little surprising to see this measure but it makes sense. There are some people who do want to express prejudice and here is a scale you can use to measure their wishes […]

Related posts:
Detecting Deception Using the Law of Sufficient Motivation
The Bias Awareness Scale 
The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 


... Read more »

Forscher PS, Cox WT, Graetz N, & Devine PG. (2015) The motivation to express prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(5), 791-812. PMID: 26479365  

  • November 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 768 views

Things You Want to Know: Stereotypes, biases,  defensiveness, and when work strikes awfully close to home

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a conglomeration of articles we thought were interesting and useful but chose not to devote an entire post describing them. Think of this as a series of articles that might pique your interest and make you want to learn more. We’ll provide links so it’s easy to learn more. Christians and Science: A […]

Related posts:
Cognitive Biases: A pictorial primer 
Do Whites, Blacks, and Asians have different  biases than Biracial adults?
Have you seen our latest work in The Jury Exp........ Read more »

Phillips, LT, & Lowery, BS. (2015) The hard-knock life? Whites claim hardship in response to racial inequity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 12-18. info:/

  • November 11, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 567 views

Do you make choices as to whom you  leave waiting in the crosswalk? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Apparently yes, at least according to today’s researchers. And you likely will be somewhat taken aback by just which group you choose to make wait. Researchers wanted to study whether the pedestrian’s race had anything to do with yielding behavior of motorists at crosswalks. They tested with 173 motorists and 6 trained male pedestrian-confederates (3 […]

Related posts:
Do Whites, Blacks, and Asians have different  biases than Biracial adults?
Are you a White American? How Black is y........ Read more »

Goddard, T., Kahn, K., & Adkins, A. (2015) Racial bias in driver yielding behavior at crosswalks. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2015.06.002  

  • November 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 535 views

The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You likely know we love a good conspiracy theorist here. For entertainment value it adds a lot to an otherwise dull story. In fact, one of our favorite blog-moments was when a conspiracy theorist left a raging comment for us regarding a post that questioned the existence of Big Foot. We’ve posted a few scales […]

Related posts:
Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theorist’s intense beliefs?
Measuring........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 598 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: ‘Black’-sounding name makes  people think bigger and more dangerous

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Who’s scarier? Connor or Jamal? Or consider these names and think of who’s scarier: Wyatt or DeShawn? Raven-Symone recently got into trouble on the television show The View for saying she would not hire someone with a “ghetto name” (“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea”). We blogged about this issue […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: “It makes no difference to me but I’m sure it would to a lot of other people.”
Simple Jury Persuasion: ........ Read more »

  • November 2, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 703 views

Here’s why that movie wasn’t called ’12 Angry Women’ 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Well, okay—part of why it was not called ’12 Angry Women’ is because at the time the movie was made (1957), in most venues women were not permitted to serve on juries. But the research we’re featuring today says that even while on jury duty, it’s hard to be a woman. Today’s researchers had 210 […]

Related posts:
Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly
“It was ‘a man’s work’ and I just didn’t like working with those incompetent women….”
Sh........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 737 views

Fracking and pregnancy issues (prematurity and high risk pregnancies) 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Risks associated with fracking have been inconsistently documented with the EPA concluding in June 2015 that fracking does not always harm water supplies. “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found […]

Related posts:
Hydro-fracking and the Environment
Motherhood and Employment: Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace
Negotiat........ Read more »

Casey JA, Savitz DA, Rasmussen SG, Ogburn EL, Pollak J, Mercer DG, & Schwartz BS. (2015) Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Birth Outcomes in Pennsylvania, USA. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). PMID: 26426945  

  • October 28, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 738 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “feelings-as-information” theory 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You know this theory from painful and frustrating first-hand experiences. You present evidence and the jury ‘hears’ something else and bases their decisions on what they believe you said (or meant) rather than on the evidence as presented. While you (and we) know this happens over and over again, this week we finally ran across […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Winning Minds and Touching Hearts
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make Your Expert Optimally Persuasive
Simple Jury Persua........ Read more »

Schwarz, N. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski, . (2012) Feelings-as-information theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology., 289-308. DOI: 10.4135/9781446249215.n15  

  • October 26, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 615 views

Is it possible that jurors will be misled by emotional  testimony and gruesome photos? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Reviewing gruesome photographs and listening to emotional testimony about terrible injuries is something we do routinely. When we need to test their impact in our pretrial research, sometimes mock jurors (and occasionally trial jurors as well) are given the option of not looking at the photographs. They are put in an envelope, the envelope is […]

Related posts:
Teary testimony from children is more credible
Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Eyewitness testimon........ Read more »

  • October 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 708 views

How to make lies appear to be truthful and other things you need to know

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We often read articles that don’t have enough content to make us want to devote an entire blog post to them but that seem useful or intriguing or just plain fun. Here’s a few more of those tidbits. “Illusory truth” and the repeated  falsehood Back in 2009, we wrote a post called I never knew […]

Related posts:
Expecting honesty and getting lies—when are you most able to tell it’s a lie?  
“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the inte........ Read more »

Fazio LK, Brashier NM, Payne BK, & Marsh EJ. (2015) Knowledge does not protect against illusory truth. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(5), 993-1002. PMID: 26301795  

  • October 19, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,003 views

Expecting honesty and getting lies—when are you most able to tell it’s a lie?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write often about lying and deception and none of us like to discover we’ve been lied to by either a stranger or by someone whom we know [or thought we knew] well. Despite how often we encounter dishonesty, there is a tendency to presume honesty in what we hear from others. So is it […]

Related posts:
Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?
Another look at who lies…
“You know who else lies?” she screeches. “LAWYERS lie!”


... Read more »

DesJardins, N., & Hodges, S. (2015) Reading Between the Lies: Empathic Accuracy and Deception Detection. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(7), 781-787. DOI: 10.1177/1948550615585829  

  • October 16, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 573 views

The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Often, social science research studies have scales (i.e., paper and pencil measures) that may have relevance to litigation advocacy. When they seem to (or when they are just bizarre) we write about them here. If you’d like to see all the scales we blogged about over time, take a look here. It ranges from the […]

Related posts:
Women who trust too much: The Unmitigated Communion Scale
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
70% of evangelicals do not see reli........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 557 views

You might want to start assessing perseverance in potential job  applicants

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

While you may not have heard the term “counterproductive work behaviors” if you are not in the habit of reading organizational behavior research, you certainly will recognize the behaviors when you see them: absenteeism, lateness, rudeness and incivility. This is an interesting study because rather than studying counter-productive work behaviors (aka “bad behavior”) they wanted […]

Related posts:
Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 
“Belief Perseverance”: Co........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 715 views

Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Apparently it’s all about motivated reasoning and uncertainty. When people hear new research findings that are unfamiliar or hear new findings that contradict what they already believe—they are likely to feel uncertain and confused. When you feel that way, it is unpleasant and you want to get back to feeling certain and clear about how […]

Related posts:
Have reports of the death of the civil jury trial been premature?
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theor........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 856 views

Police observers are more observant than ordinary  civilians

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most research has not shown police to be any more observant than ordinary civilians—even though judges and juries often make assumptions that police witnesses are more reliable than civilian eyewitnesses. New research by Dutch researchers shows that police observers were more aware of details in a drug deal near a hotel which had been recorded […]

Related posts:
Are jurors more skeptical of police on the witness stand now? 
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
An ........ Read more »

  • October 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 641 views

Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theorist’s intense beliefs?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

According to new research with a large sample from all across the United States, the answer is yes! If you have read this blog for long, you know we love a good conspiracy theorist and use their idiosyncratic associations in pretrial research to plug holes in case narratives. The researchers briefly review the past literature […]

Related posts:
Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Would you get sucked in to conspiracy theories?
Think conspiracy theorists live on ........ Read more »

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