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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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  • November 17, 2010
  • 09:10 AM

Voir Dire Strategy: Who’s the Libertarian?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Concepts like authoritarianism have been studied intently for decades. But what about Libertarianism? We think we know about Libertarians from examining the writing of libertarian intellectuals and politicians—but that isn’t very scientific or reliable. Recently Iyer, Koleva, Graham, Ditto & Haidt (2010) published a paper that surveys the issues thoroughly.  Here we summarize a few [...]

Related posts:Voir Dire Strategy: Who’s the authoritarian?
Voir Dire Fundamentals: Look for trouble, not for friends
Voir dire lesson: “I don’t believe everything I hear”
... Read more »

Iyer, R., Koleva, S.P., Graham, J., Ditto, P.H., & Haidt, J. (2010) Understanding Libertarian Morality: The psychological roots of an individualist ideology. SSRN. info:/

  • November 12, 2010
  • 09:10 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: If they say ‘No’, ask ‘why not’?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

PsyBlog continues their exploration of research on persuasion techniques and we will continue to monitor their posts and translate those relevant to the realm of litigation advocacy. [Their first post was on how "light" swearing makes you more persuasive. We figured you knew better than to try that one in court!] This time, they explore [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Channeling Cialdini & becoming a master of social influence
Simple Jury Persuasion: The Alpha Strategies
Simple Jury Persuasion: The Omega Strategies
... Read more »

  • November 5, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Much has been written about the “power suit” or the “power tie”. And we’ve written here about the power of wearing red for women and for men too!  So now you know how to dress. And yes, of course, there’s more. While you are power-suited up—you may also want to “strike a pose”.  Yup. Researchers [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Got charisma?
Simple Jury Persuasion: The dark side of psychological closeness
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t confuse argument with persuasion
... Read more »

Carney DR, Cuddy AJ, & Yap AJ. (2010) Power posing: brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(10), 1363-8. PMID: 20855902  

  • November 3, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Seeing and Believing and Reducing Prejudice

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Mel Gibson certainly is not the only celebrity to rant racist statements while raving drunk. And we do have evidence that we are less able to censor ourselves when we are run-down and tired. So how (in brief) can you actually reduce prejudicial behavior? We’ve written a lot about race and racism here so it’s [...]

Related posts:Arkansas: If a judge calls you a ‘slut’ in open court, it doesn’t show prejudice
... Read more »

Stewart TL, Latu IM, Branscombe NR, & Denney HT. (2010) Yes We Can!: Prejudice Reduction Through Seeing (Inequality) and Believing (in Social Change). Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 20889931  

  • November 1, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Politics, Corruption and Pornography

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

From the world of politics come lessons for those of us who cannot believe how facts seem to make no difference for mock jurors and for real jurors who share their thoughts in post-verdict interviews. It isn’t just them. It’s all of us. Take for example, the Republican Party’s claims of political corruption in North [...]

Related posts:Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
Lighter Skin, More Like Me
“Reactions vary along traditional partisan lines”
... Read more »

Markey, P., & Markey, C. (2010) Changes in pornography-seeking behaviors following political elections: an examination of the challenge hypothesis. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(6), 442-446. info:/

  • October 29, 2010
  • 05:23 PM

You’re not too old for a story (but you might be too young!)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The idea of using a narrative to tell your litigation story is so widely accepted it’s almost surprising someone would research the power of a story But Kenneth Chestek did just that with appellate professionals in his article recently uploaded to the SSRN network.  And what he found is intriguing. Chestek covers familiar ground in his [...]

Related posts:You know about story-telling, but do you know to wear red?
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
Voir Dire Strategy: Who’s the authoritarian?
... Read more »

Chestek, K. (2010) Judging by the Numbers: An Empirical Study of the Power of Story . SSRN. info:other/

  • October 25, 2010
  • 09:24 AM

Hard to be a woman? The beat goes on….

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you like to keep track of such things, we’ve written a number of times on how it’s hard to be a woman. Tammy Wynette did the original (although it’s better if you don’t listen to the lyrics too closely) and the hits just keep on coming! You may remember the controversy around Clarence Thomas’ [...]

Related posts:Redux: Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman (with appreciation to Tammy Wynette, Linda Ronstadt and Anne Reed)

“I didn’t know truth had a gender”

Arkansas: If a judge calls you a ‘slut’ in open court, it doesn’t show prejudice... Read more »

  • October 22, 2010
  • 09:26 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: The dark side of psychological closeness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I swear there are times when simply reading a research report gives me chills. This is one of those times. We’ve written a lot about making your client more “like” jurors. In our posts on witness preparation you will see a lot of thoughts about making witnesses relatable to jurors without pandering to them.  It’s a [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Thank you for your service
Simple Jury Persuasion: Beware what the other side will tell you…
Simple Jury Persuasion: Alpha and Omega Persuasion Strategies
... Read more »

Gino, F., & Galinsky, A. (2010) When Psychological Closeness Creates Distance from One’s Moral Compass. SSRN. info:/

  • October 20, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Should you try online jury research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I mean really. How do you know who is out there as your sample mock jury? There are a number of companies offering online jury research these days. And, as they say, it’s cheaper, it’s fast, and it gives you a window into the potential reactions to your case. Obviously, we have some bias about [...]

Related posts:New research on men: What do we know now?

Lighter Skin, More Like Me

Trial Skills Journal on the Web: The Jury Expert... Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 09:23 AM

Outsmarting your biases & helping jurors outsmart theirs too

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Emily Pronin is a Psychology professor at Princeton. She studies how we tend to see ourselves as different than others and how that leads us to judge ourselves as better than others to our own detriment. Recently, Dr. Pronin did a brief interview with the Washington Post on how our self-awareness blind spots lead us [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Countering jury decision-making biases

When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?

A pinch of this and a dash of that... Read more »

Mandel, G. (2005) Unaware of Our Unawareness. Science. info:/

  • October 8, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: A Collision of Values and Attributions

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When do liberals and conservatives veer away from their traditional styles of decision-making? How can you predict this and incorporate it into your case narrative strategy?... Read more »

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