200 posts · 144,328 views
Doug Keene has a doctoral degree in Psychology and has worked as a trial consultant for the past 15 years. He is Past President of the American Society of Trial Consultants and has a full-service trial consulting practice. Twitter: @keenetrial
Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was […]
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust........ Read more »
Capestany BH, & Harris LT. (2014) Disgust and biological descriptions bias logical reasoning during legal decision-making. Social Neuroscience, 9(3), 265-277. PMID: 24571553
We often associate people who are especially trusting with gullibility, low self-esteem, and lower intellectual function. However, we seem to have it backwards according to new research (which successfully replicates the results of studies from 2010 and 2012). Intelligent people are more likely to trust others while those lower in intelligence are less likely to […]
How ‘myside bias’ is related to your intelligence
“Just about always” and “Never” responses to ........ Read more »
Carl N, & Billari FC. (2014) Generalized trust and intelligence in the United States. PLoS ONE, 9(3). PMID: 24619035
You remember the better than average effect. It’s what makes us evaluate ourselves as better than others. I’m a better driver than the average driver. I’m a better swimmer than other non-competitive swimmers. Or even, I’m a better citizen than those who, unlike me, are not in prison. Yes. “I’m in jail. They are not. […]
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity effect
Is it true that older jurors are more likely to convict?
The “hoodie effect̶........ Read more »
Sedikides C, Meek R, Alicke MD, & Taylor S. (2014) Behind bars but above the bar: Prisoners consider themselves more prosocial than non-prisoners. The British Journal of Social Psychology. PMID: 24359153
You may recall the story posted on CNN in late 2012 about how women vote differently based on hormonal fluctuations. Unfortunately, because of how our brains work (and our attraction to outrageous stories, true or not), you may not recall that CNN removed the story in 7 hours due to internet backlash over an article […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: Can walking to the jury room make jurors forget your evidence?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Channel James Earl Jones
Simple Jury Persuasi........ Read more »
Harris, C., & Mickes, L. (2014) Women Can Keep the Vote: No Evidence That Hormonal Changes During the Menstrual Cycle Impact Political and Religious Beliefs. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613520236
Almost three years ago, we blogged about what we called the Scott Peterson Effect – citing a 2001 literature review of 45 years of research on remorse in capital murder defendants. Now, we have new article on the role of shame and guilt in predicting recidivism. To these researchers, the difference between shame and guilt is critical, […]
Should you want guilt-prone leaders for that jury?
Does priming influence behavior of even the “bad boys”?
Ask the judge for ........ Read more »
Tangney JP, Stuewig J, & Martinez AG. (2014) Two Faces of Shame: The Roles of Shame and Guilt in Predicting Recidivism. Psychological Science. PMID: 24395738
Most of us realize that real life stalking is a serious issue and very frightening to the victim, whether male or female and whether young or old. But what about cyber stalking? While research on real life stalking has grown over the past two decades, actual research on cyber stalking is sparse–despite ever-increasing depictions on […]
Are female stalkers less likely to be violent than male stalkers?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Who cares........ Read more »
Dreßing, H., Bailer, J., Anders, A., Wagner, H., & Gallas, C. (2014) Cyberstalking in a Large Sample of Social Network Users: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Impact Upon Victims. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(2), 61-67. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0231
We’ve written a number of times about the role of non-belief or of strong religious beliefs on juries and juror decision-making. The majority of research, largely based on White participants, has shown repeatedly that for White Christians, if you are an non-believer (e.g., an Atheist or a Muslim), you will be looked on less favorably […]
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
He........ Read more »
Van Camp, D., Sloan, LR, & ElBassiouny, A. (2014) Religious bias among religiously conscious Black Christians in the United States. . The Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/00224545.2013.835708
People will actually see you more positively when you raise no money for charity at all than they will when you raise $1,000,000 (but skim $100,000 for yourself). Even if you said you were going to keep 10% up front and the charity really did get the $900,000! When you benefit (in any way) from […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: Using counter-factual thinking to your advantage
Simple Jury Persuasion: Use pre-factual thinking to your advantage in litigation
Simple Jury Persuasion: ........ Read more »
Newman GE, & Cain DM. (2014) Tainted Altruism: When Doing Some Good Is Evaluated as Worse Than Doing No Good at All. Psychological Science. PMID: 24403396
Last fall we wrote about how having a dark-skinned avatar in an immersive virtual reality experience can reduce your implicit bias against dark-skinned people. Now Illinois researchers show us that the avatar assigned in online gaming also influences behavior. How? If you are assigned to be a hero, you do good. If you are assigned […]
“Spend some time in my skin”
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’t the HBO show!
Should you try online jury research?
... Read more »
Yoon G, & Vargas PT. (2014) Know Thy Avatar: The Unintended Effect of Virtual-Self Representation on Behavior. Psychological Science. PMID: 24501111
There are some research models whose names seem silly, or at least named for a Taylor Swift song. Oddly enough, there is a large body of research on those who are “habitually sensitive toward victimization” and it turns out they tend to be uncooperative and immoral in “socially uncertain situations”. Apparently, the suspicion and mistrust […]
Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity ef........ Read more »
Gollwitzer, M., Rothmund, T., & Süssenbach, P. (2013) The sensitivity to mean intentions (SeMI) model: Basic assumptions, recent findings, and potential avenues for future research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 415-426. DOI: 10.1111/spc3.12041
All those dress for success formulas apparently forgot something important. Nonconformity can be a good thing when thoughtfully applied. However, if observers think you are unaware that your behavior or attire is not conforming–then you’re just a weirdo. Harvard researchers call this the “red sneakers effect” and here’s how it works. Many of us think […]
Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effect
Simple Jury Persuasion: The “turban effect”
Simple Jury P........ Read more »
Bellezza, S., Gino, F., & Keinan, A. (2013) The red sneakers effect: Inferring status and competence from signals of nonconformity. Journal of Consumer Research. . DOI: 10.1086/674870
It’s hard to really feel sorry for the sexually violent predator who is up for parole. It’s even harder when their level of public dangerousness isn’t really known. We first saw this study over at Karen Franklin’s In the News blog and it makes a strong statement about the ineffectiveness of an often-used measure for […]
Is that psychopath going to be violent in the future?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Are female stalkers less likely to be vi........ Read more »
DeMatteo, D., Edens, JF, Galloway, M., Cox, J., Smith, ST, & Formon, D. (2013) The role and reliability of the Psychopathy Checklist--Revised in US sexually violent predator evaluations: A case law survey. Law and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000059
We’ve written before about the differences between liberals and conservatives. The article we feature today isn’t about moral issues, brain structure, or shopping preferences. It is instead about a basic need filled for some by Mr. Rogers: the deep-seated desire to be special. Two studies were conducted. The first had 292 participants recruited via Mechanical […]
We have nothing to fear (unless we are conservative)
The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and ........ Read more »
We watch for facial expressions and verbal indications of moral outrage when doing pretrial research because it usually means the mock jurors have connected egregious conduct with strongly held beliefs. It is a connection that is nearly impossible to sever, and a development of critical interest to litigants. We’ve seen it when you would expect […]
Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Is that quick decision a good indicator of your moral character?
What........ Read more »
Salerno JM, & Peter-Hagene LC. (2013) The interactive effect of anger and disgust on moral outrage and judgments. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2069-78. PMID: 23969778
Like Yahoo! did when they hired Marissa Mayer. At least one media outlet chose to illustrate their writeup of today’s study with Ms. Mayer. We’ve written before about law firm success but that seems to be tied not to the “hotness” of the managing partner but to their appearance of competence. Ms. Mayer was loudly […]
Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you
Proof we don’t hire the most qualified candidate!
“I feel pretty, oh so pretty!........ Read more »
Halford, Joseph, Taylor Hsu, & Scott H. C. (2013) Beauty is Wealth: CEO Appearance and Shareholder Value. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2357756
Recently, in a multi-panel mock trial, we held our breaths as a 60-something white male business man volunteered to be the presiding juror since he had a lot of experience leading groups. We had purposely loaded the group with only a single strong Plaintiff juror (and a second moderate Plaintiff supporter), knew the new presiding […]
Power, Penises and the Role of the Presiding Juror
Deliberations & the role of the presiding juror
This is what a good leader does not lo........ Read more »
Tost, LP, Gino, F, & Larrick, RP. (2013) When power makes others speechless: The negative impact of leader power on team performance. Academy of Management Journal, 56(5). DOI: 10.5465/amj.2011.0180
We have done a number of trials where either translators, video dubbing, or captions were used to assist witnesses for whom English was not a first language and, in one amusing instance, for a man whose Southern U.S. regional dialect was so thick that mock jurors wondered aloud if he was even speaking English. Oddly, […]
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity effect
The “hoodie effect”: A domestic variant of the turban effect
The hypercorrection effe........ Read more »
Lavaur JM, & Bairstow D. (2011) Languages on the screen: is film comprehension related to the viewers' fluency level and to the language in the subtitles?. International Journal of Psychology, 46(6), 455-62. PMID: 22046988
Wissmath, B., Weibel, D., & Groner, R. (2009) Dubbing or subtitling? Effects on spatial presence, transportation, flow and enjoyment. . Journal of Media Psychology, 21(3). DOI: 10.1027/1864-1184.108.40.206
We believe the negative press on the Millennials (our 20-somethings and early 30-somethings) is simply what happens to all of our young people as they are judged (and found wanting) by older generations. And mostly we eventually grow up, mature, and become something different than we started out as–at least when viewed through the eyes […]
Generation X: Active, balanced and happy. Seriously?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Is the Millennial ........ Read more »
Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen D. Voh, Jennifer L. Aaker, & Emily N. Garbinsky. (2013) Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. . The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(6), 505-516. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2168436
Hmmm. Here’s research that says the appearance of managing partners’ faces at America’s 100 top law firms is tied to firm “profit margin, profitability index, and profits per equity partner”. You may want to look at managing partners’ faces before making a decision about that job offer! We’ve written about first impressions before but this […]
I can tell from your face that you are suicidal
Never trust a man with a wide face
Between Coddling and Contempt: Mana........ Read more »
Rule, NO, & Ambady, N. (2011) Face and fortune: Inferences of personality from managing partners’ faces predict their law firms’ financial success. . The Leadership Quarterly, 690-696. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.05.009
So you need to ask someone to do something and that “something” lies in the morally murky or ambiguous realm. We won’t offer examples of what that favor may be, but you know what we mean. You may wonder when is best to ask. Right after you’ve begun the day (and they’ve had ample coffee)? […]
Leading our unethical leaders: Behaving as we want our jurors to behave
Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the female?
What’s a moral issue for us these days?
........ Read more »
Kouchaki M, & Smith IH. (2013) The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior. Psychological Science. PMID: 24166855
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