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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
328 posts

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  • July 25, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Mock Jury Research: How do we make it more useful?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The literature on mock juries has been criticized for years for use of convenience samples (i.e., college students). An upcoming issue of the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law is devoted to examining mock jury research and assessing where we have been and where we need to go. The authors argue that since we are trying [...]

Related posts:Why do the African American mock jurors all sit together?
Should you try online jury research?
The “Nerd Defense”: Redux
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Wiener RL, Krauss DA, & Lieberman JD. (2011) Mock Jury Research: Where Do We Go from Here?. Behavioral sciences . PMID: 21706517  

  • July 22, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: “You know you want to trust me!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Sometimes it’s sort of scary to leave the house in the morning. There is a lot of scary research out there.  And now, we are told that it only takes two simple words to influence us to view a message more positively, act in accordance with that message, and positively view the message source. Wow. [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Building Trust (but not) in Ten Easy Words
Simple Jury Persuasion: Liking + Identification = Impact
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make them eat brussel sprout........ Read more »

Legal, JB,, Chappe, J,, Coiffard, V., & Villard-Forest, A. (2011) Don’t you know that you want to trust me? Subliminal goal priming and persuasion. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 20, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Does desire trump beliefs based on facts when evaluating scientific evidence?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You probably know the answer to this question is yes. But the real answer is much more nuanced, which makes it so much more interesting. As it happens, if you are conflicted about the facts, you are more likely to be swayed by your desires than the facts themselves.  When I was in graduate school, [...]

Related posts:Generation Y (aka the Millennials): Just the facts
Why facts don’t matter
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
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  • July 18, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay Black = Likable?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s an interesting question. We know from recent research that black criminal defendants who wear glasses may be viewed as less threatening (and therefore more likable). And we’re guessing that gay black men may also seem less threatening than heterosexual black men. By now you likely know we wouldn’t muse on this sort of question [...]

Related posts:The ‘artful dodge’: The danger of a smooth talker
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
........ Read more »

Remedios, JD,, Chasteen, AL,, Rule, NO,, & Plaks, JE. (2011) Impressions at the intersection of ambiguous and obvious social categories: Does gay Black . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 15, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Does Using an Interpreter Help or Hinder the Plaintiff?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve seen non-native English speakers struggle to be understood on the witness stand. Even native English speakers can be tough to understand due to speech dialects or thick styles of pronunciation. We know accents make us all work harder to comprehend and that most of us don’t like to work that hard. So what happens [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Alpha and Omega Persuasion Strategies
Simple Jury Persuasion: Liking + Identification = Impact
Simple Jury Persuasion: “How........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

When graphic images backfire as persuasive tools

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

There has been a lot of reaction to the new graphic images the FDA will put on cigarette packs. From concerns about the government attempting to ‘regulate cool’ to derision and to concerns about the ‘shock value’ of the images, writers have been expressing their reactions. And so have researchers. There is a long history of research in [...]

Related posts:Images and ads create false memories
Three letter words that make a huge difference
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it w........ Read more »

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2011) What makes an image memorable?. Science Daily. info:/

  • July 11, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Size does matter—when you are lying

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about deception and the detection thereof. Our goal continues to be to keep you up to date on what we actually know about the art of detecting deception and what is simply unreliable ‘common wisdom’. There is some really intriguing and interesting research out there including a new study we [...]

Related posts:Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
Detecting Deception Using the Law of Sufficient Motivation
... Read more »

Eisenkopf, G., Gurtoviy, R., & Utikal, V. (2011) Size matters –when it comes to lies. University of Konstanz, Department of Economics. info:/

  • July 8, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Another reason to wear red in court!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about the ‘secret weapon’ power of wearing red in the courtroom for both women and men. If you weren’t convinced in 2010, try again in 2011! While we know red means stop, it also means danger, hot and even dominance (according to a study done on Olympian athletes wearing red). But it doesn’t stop there! [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Beware what the other side will tell you…
Simple Jury Persuasion: I........ Read more »

  • July 6, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

The devil wasn’t dancing when the Casey Anthony verdict came in

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We beg to differ with Nancy Grace. Her memorable comment about the not guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony case was “Somewhere out there, the devil is dancing tonight.”  We’re based in Texas so we love colorful turns of phrase. In this case, however, we simply don’t happen to agree. The Casey Anthony trial received massive (and [...]

Related posts:Pretrial publicity & jury deliberations
The Jury Expert for May 2010 is uploaded
Deliberations & the role of the presiding juro........ Read more »

Ruva, CL, & LeVasseur, MA. (2011) Behind closed doors: The effect of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations. Psychology, Crime . info:/

  • July 4, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Images and ads create false memories

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I have a vivid memory of a scene from very, very early childhood. Actually, infancy. My large sibling group is gathered around a Dutch Elm tree in our side yard. My father stands next to a black bear hung from the tree. My mother stands at the rear holding an infant wrapped in a blanket [...]

Related posts:What I should have said was nothing: The disaster of a false confession
“The glasses create a kind of unspoken nerd defense.”
Bummer! Our brains do decline with age…but there i........ Read more »

PRIYALI RAJAGOPAL, & NICOLE VOTOLATO MONTGOMERY. (2011) I Imagine, I Experience, I Like: The False Experience Effect. The Journal of Consumer Research. info:/

  • July 1, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Donna Reed and James Dean?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Really?  Tell me it isn’t so.  Okay. We are not so sure about this one. We’ve spent lots of time telling you about research that talks about being likable, how to be persuasive to juries, and the importance of jurors seeing you as “like” them but still true to yourself. So now, we have new research saying that [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Using attraction to your advantage
Simple Jury Persuasion: Tilt your head. (no kidding)
Simple Jury Persuasion: She reminds me of........ Read more »

  • June 29, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Just because you’re pretty/handsome—don’t count on my vote!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s some research that flies in the face of the common wisdom “what is pretty is good”. Most of us have seen (or heard about) the research that says physically attractive people  tend to make better initial impressions on others. It seems that there is some fine print that goes with that adage, and you [...]

Related posts:I never knew Hitler had three testicles…
“I can see it from both sides”
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  • June 27, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Are women just better for your jury?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to some new research, it certainly is possible. This is one of those research papers with very intriguing but totally unexpected results. And now, they’ve replicated the findings twice according to a recent entry at the Harvard Business Review website. What the researchers did was to assess intelligence of research subjects and then assigned [...]

Related posts:Voir Dire: Do you like tall extroverted men?
Women who stalk: Who they are and how they do it
Men married to rich women ar........ Read more »

Woolley AW, Chabris CF, Pentland A, Hashmi N, & Malone TW. (2010) Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6004), 686-8. PMID: 20929725  

  • June 24, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: When does the expert witness need to be prepared?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Expert witnesses often think they don’t need to be “prepared” and that “preparation” is a sort of insult to their professionalism.  “I’ve testified 100 times; trust me, I know the drill”. In truth, experts often need more preparation than fact witnesses and it is exactly because of their professional status. It isn’t about the expert’s [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Make Your Expert Optimally Persuasive
Simple Jury Persuasion: The Alpha Strategies
Simple Jury ........ Read more »

Dvoskin, J.A., & Guy, L.S. (2008) On being an expert witness: It’s not about you. . Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 15(2). info:/

  • June 20, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Immigration Polls and Lying College Grads and Liberals

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

After 9/11/2001 we did some research that uncovered a number of questions we successfully used for the better part of two years to identify plaintiff and defense jurors.  And then—just like that—the questions stopped differentiating. The response patterns that were effective in identifying jurors who were good for us or bad for us had changed. [...]

Related posts:Polls and Prejudice
Can you see me now? Different races & familiar places
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Janus, A.L. (2010) The influence of social desirability pressures on expressed immigration attitudes. Social Science Quarterly, 91(4), 928-946. info:/

  • June 17, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Pretrial publicity & jury deliberations

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

There was much discussion when the Supreme Court decided Jeffrey Skilling had gotten a fair trial despite extreme pre-trial publicity. The letter published in the Orlando Sentinel from a dismissed Casey Anthony trial juror raises the issue again. I was one of the 50 potential jurors excused from service on the Casey Anthony trial today because [...]

Related posts:Educating Jurors: How NOT to start deliberations
Deliberations & the role of the presiding juror
Simple Jury Persuasion: Count........ Read more »

Ruva, CL, & LeVasseur, MA. (2011) Behind closed doors: The effect of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations. . Psychology, Crime . info:/

  • June 15, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

“For $15M, I’d marry a saber-toothed tiger!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Family law cases are almost always sad. They are typically filled with issues of bitterness, betrayal, rejection and character. And if those aren’t distressing enough under normal circumstances, in Texas—if you are rich enough and angry enough—you can have a divorce trial in front of a jury. Recently as we did a focus group on a particularly [...]

Related posts:Charlie Sheen or Tiger Woods? When behavior doesn’t fit the image
Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Go........ Read more »

Vazire, Simine, & Carlson, Erika. (2011) Others sometimes know us better than we know ourselves. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(2), 104-108. info:/

  • June 13, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Why do the African American mock jurors all sit together?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We noted long ago that in pretrial research [where we match demographics of the venue in recruitment] that our African American mock jurors often sought each other out as seating companions. So when we are in mostly white venues and have just a few African American mock jurors, we often pair them in the breakout [...]

Related posts:Propaganda, Dogmatism & Bias: Who are your jurors?
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
... Read more »

  • June 10, 2011
  • 12:15 PM

You probably think this post is about you…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Carly Simon wailed this song back in the 1970’s. Listening to it now, it’s still catchy and seductive. Likely because now I know what it really means to interact with narcissists. We’ve written before about preparation of the narcissistic witness and cross examination of the same types. We often assume the narcissist is unaware of how [...]

Related posts:Tattoos: When should you clean up your witness?
Maybe you better sweat the small stuff…
“The glasses create a kind of unspoken........ Read more »

  • June 8, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Foot in mouth? Rate of speech, verb choice, and calling women “guys”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Everything you say is evidence for judgment.  But we are steadfast in our desire to help you keep track of how to say it and what not to say. So here are three new sources to help you watch your mouth. Rate of speech You know the stereotype of the ‘smooth talker’. We tend to [...]

Related posts:Okay, wait! Which one of you was I listening to?
Women are soft (and sweet) and men are hard (and tough)
Men prefer boxes and women prefer ellipses?
... Read more »

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