Doug Keene

328 posts · 431,822 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

The Jury Room
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  • January 27, 2012
  • 08:02 AM

Pretrial publicity & bias: Take a look at the age of your jurors!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Despite the Supreme Court ruling [Skilling v US] that pretrial publicity [PTP] does not bias the public perception and limit the right to a fair trial, most of us who have experienced the impact of pretrial publicity disagree. It is an accepted truism that older people are more conservative than younger people. So it’s interesting to [...]
No related posts.... Read more »

  • December 16, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Was Sonia Sotomayor right about female judges?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

One of our early posts on this blog was a response to the furor over the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Essentially, Sotomayor said that our decisions are a complex product of information and our life experiences. We believe this too and were taken aback that so much negative press resulted from her [...]
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Choi, S., Gulati, M., Holman, M., & Posner, E. (2011) Judging women. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies,, 8(3). info:/

  • December 12, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: On getting older and wiser!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Growing older is not for sissies. ‘Some people’ have ‘senior moments’ and then tend to mock ourselves while we secretly worry that it signals the onset of dementia. Many trial lawyers avoid the older juror due to concerns about sleepiness, inability to track the evidence, or simply being checked out during the trial. It isn’t any [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Got charisma?
Simple Jury Persuas........ Read more »

Worthy DA, Gorlick MA, Pacheco JL, Schnyer DM, & Maddox WT. (2011) With Age Comes Wisdom: Decision Making in Younger and Older Adults. Psychological Science. . PMID: 21960248  

  • February 9, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

We pray with closed eyes

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve talked about the “look inside yourself” strategy in case presentation before.  It’s a deceptively simple strategy to minimize bias and to help jurors get in touch with their moral center rather than operating blindly on pre-existing assumptions. Okay, so part of it may be in the delivery by our client Richard– who has a [...]

Related posts:“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”

Imagine and decrease bias

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  • March 11, 2011
  • 08:01 AM

But, your honor! That witness was drunk!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve probably seen intoxicated witnesses on TV shows and thought they were ridiculous. And we’ve seen mock jurors dismiss witnesses they believed to be either drunk or high. But have we given the intoxicated witness a bum rap? New research says maybe we really have. Researchers from Florida, Texas and Arkansas took a look at [...]

Related posts:“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
Tattoos: When should you clean up your witness?
Witness Preparation: First impressions R........ Read more »

Schreiber Compo N, Evans JR, Carol RN, Villalba D, Ham LS, Garcia T, & Rose S. (2011) Intoxicated Eyewitnesses: Better than Their Reputation?. Law and human behavior. PMID: 21336684  

  • 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 [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Tilt your head. (no kidding)
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  • 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, [...]

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Why facts don’t matter
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
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  • February 25, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

A screwdriver: The new addition to your trial toolbox? (We think not.)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You truly never know what you’ll need in court. The unexpected happens. We are here to give you an edge. Back in May, 2010 we wrote about how people tend to remember things more when they are placed to their left. So we recommended you place your exhibits to the left while casually moving opposing [...]

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“Reactions vary along traditional partisan lines”
Secret Weapon: The Chairs in th........ Read more »

Oppenheimer, D., & Trail, T. (2010) Why leaning to the left makes you lean to the left: Effect of spatial orientation on political attitudes. Social Cognition, 28(5). info:/

  • August 8, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Detecting Deception: Be still my eyebrows!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a study we found at Science Daily and thought was a useful addition to our ongoing exploration of how to identify deception. While eyebrows have been found not useful in identifying Mormon faces, apparently they are useful in identifying deception. As it turns out, it is harder for liars to control the upper part of their [...]

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Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
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Carolyn M. Hurley, & Mark G. Frank. (2011) Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 35(2). info:/

  • August 3, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

I’m disgusted (until I wash my hands and feel purified)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s not just Pontius Pilate and Lady MacBeth, all of us feel better with clean hands. The disgust literature is everywhere these days. As it turns out, disgust is a powerful emotional motivator. Researchers recently attempted to see if being even minimally involved in activities that brought participants into contact with religious beliefs different from their own [...]

Related posts:Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Eww! That is just disgusting! (but…very interest........ Read more »

Ritter, RS, & Preston, JL. (2011) Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • April 4, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Outsmarting liars (five decades of research)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Like everyone else, we don’t like to be fooled. So we love the deception research and their efforts to find ways to avoid being fooled, tricked or deceived. Aldert Vrij is one of our favorite deception researchers. He has a new piece out on the “imposing cognitive load” approach to identifying deception. They review the [...]

Related posts:Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
We know liars when we see ‘em
Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
... Read more »

Vrij, A., Granhag, P., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2011) Outsmarting the liars: Toward a cognitive lie detection approach. . Current directions in psychological science, 20(1). info:/

  • December 17, 2010
  • 08:07 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Use Christian religious concepts to increase racial prejudice

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about racial biases in the courtroom.  As regular readers of this blog know, we look for ways to mitigate the impact of racial biases. We believe in social justice. We also know (although we don’t like it much) that there are times when in the interests of advocacy, it is important [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Countering jury decision-making biases
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Johnson, MK, Rowatt, WC, & LaBouff, J. (2010) Priming Christian religious concepts increases racial prejudice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(2). info:/

  • September 9, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Would “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” still work?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Catchy slogans, phrases and themes have long been the hallmark of a persuasive courtroom presentation. But new research throws a question on whether they are as effective as we would like to think. Researchers compared the effect of both logos (brands) and slogans (phrases) on subjects. They discuss past research where showing the Apple logo resulted [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: I’m too smart to fall for that!
Simpl........ Read more »

Laran, J., Dalton A., & Andrade, E. (2011) The curious case of behavioral backlash: Why brands produce priming effects and slogans produce reverse priming effects. . Journal of Consumer Research. info:/

  • September 6, 2013
  • 08:02 AM

We prefer apologies from men over apologies from women

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

So it’s been a while since we’ve revisited this category of posts. We know you’ve missed them, so here’s a new one. Apologies from men in the workplace are less expected and therefore more effective. Oh, good grief. Extra credit for conjuring up some manners? Researchers review prior findings on apology: women apologize more and […]

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Everyday racism at work: Hope for African American Women?
Negotiating Salary 101 for Women Only
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  • March 16, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

So how are your math skills?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Math is often seen as a necessary evil. But math literacy plays a part in virtually all civil trials, and you need to understand how to manage that effect. You’ll want to prepare. We’re here for you. Even when you don’t know you’re not really that good at math. Litigation involves numbers. Sometimes the numbers [...]

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A picture is worth a thousand words…
Outsmarting your biases & helping jurors outsmart theirs too
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Pandelaere, M., Briers, B., & Lembregts, C. (2011) How to make a 29% increase look bigger: The unit effect in option comparisons. . Journal of Consumer Research. 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 [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Liking + Identification = Impact
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  • 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
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Ruva, CL, & LeVasseur, MA. (2011) Behind closed doors: The effect of pretrial publicity on jury deliberations. Psychology, Crime . info:/

  • May 20, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Graphics, Statistics and the ‘weight of the evidence’

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A recent infographic created by the folks at Medical Billing and Coding is a terrific example of the persuasiveness of visual evidence. We are fans of visual evidence and have written about the appeal several times. Your graphic doesn’t have to be starchy and technical and, in fact, it’s better if it isn’t. The complete [...]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: KISS–Keeping it simple, simple…
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  • January 28, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Simply Resisting Persuasion: Digressing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve been doing our series on Simple Jury Persuasion for a while now and thought it might also be good to illustrate some of the most common ways we see people trying to resist persuasion (and then provide you ways to counter their resistance.  Researchers (and even popular writers) have studied this topic for years. [...]

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Jacks, J., & Cameron, K. (2003) Strategies for Resisting Persuasion. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25(2), 145-161. DOI: 10.1207/S15324834BASP2502_5  

  • May 25, 2011
  • 08:02 AM

Disarming your opponent: Updating the ‘foot in the mouth’ paradigm

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Ah, those wily telemarketers.  You simply cannot let your guard down for a minute—if you do, researchers come up with a new way to make you talk to them. You may think there is a typo in our post title and that this should say “foot in the door” technique. It isn’t a mistake. This [...]

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Questions, rabbit trails and how to know when a bear is “disturbed”
‘Lawyerese’ may work well in journals but not in the courtroom!
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Meineri, S., & Guegen, N. (2011) “I hope I’m not disturbing you, am I?” Another operationalization of the foot-in-the-mouth paradigm. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(4), 965-975. info:/

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