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  • February 12, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

Three Seconds: Poems, Cubes and the Brain

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Temporal order can be assessed in a rather straightforward experimental manner. Research subjects can be provided sequential auditory clicks, one to each ear. If the clicks are one second apart, nearly all participants can correctly identify whether or not the click in the right ear came before the one in the left ear. It turns out that this holds true even if the clicks are only 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds) apart. The threshold for being able to correctly assign a temporal order to such brief........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

The Sensitivity to Mean Intentions (SeMI) Model

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity ef........ Read more »

  • February 11, 2014
  • 04:12 PM

Enduring Sharedom

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

The recent study "Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook" conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University monitored the public disclosure (information visible to all) and private disclosure (information visible to Facebook friends) of personal data by more than 5,000 Facebook users during the time period 2005-2011. ... Read more »

Fred Stutzman, Ralph Grossy, & Alessandro Acquistiz. (2012) Silent Listeners: The Evolution of Privacy and Disclosure on Facebook. Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality. info:/

  • February 10, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Name that gadget, widget, or otherwise smart device!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The movie Her plays with the idea of Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with a computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). And today’s research article isn’t far off that track but….it’s much more applicable to litigation advocacy. These researchers took on the issue of trust in autonomous driving vehicles (computer-controlled, rather than driver-operated– which […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Do haters have to hate? It would seem so.
When you wear ........ Read more »

  • February 6, 2014
  • 04:43 AM

Bullying at Work [Legal Organizations], Coping Strategies, and Health Problems

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Bullying, defined as the “repeated, systematic, and intentional negative behavior of one or more individuals directed at another individual”, causes stress and problems at work.  Bullying really hurts people and their organizations.  Bullies cause psychosomatic and physiologic complaints and psychological problems for their victims.  According to some definitions, bullying requires a power differential.  Most [...]
The post Bullying at Work [Legal Organizations], Coping Strategies, and H........ Read more »

Dehue, F., Bolman, C., Völlink, T., & Pouwelse, M. (2012) Coping with bullying at work and health related problems. . International Journal of Stress Management,. DOI: 10.1037/a0028969  

  • February 3, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: The Red Sneakers Effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effect
Simple Jury Persuasion: The “turban effect”
Simple Jury P........ Read more »

  • January 31, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

The impact of the apparently unreliable co-witness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written before about the intoxicated witness. While our mock jurors tend to dismiss them as unreliable, recent research presents a mixed picture as to their accuracy. New work out of New Zealand adds to the murkiness by having apparently intoxicated confederates witness an incident along with the research participant and then contribute misinformation during […]

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But, your honor! That witness was drunk!
Expert witness influence: Interrogation tactics and false confes........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Measuring psychopathy in the sexually violent predator (SVP)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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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 »

  • January 28, 2014
  • 11:53 PM

Mindfulness and [Lawyers’] Improved Executive Control: Refined Affective Awareness and Acceptance of Thoughts and Emotions Helps Us Feel the “Pang” and Leads to Better Navigation of Our World

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Mindfulness practice, which involves present moment awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance of present emotions and thoughts, works.  The authors of a recent psychological science commentary noted that the practice of mindfulness training seems to provide a number of benefits.  Its popularity has increased in Western cultures for several decades.  These things partly explain why psychological [...]The post Mindfulness and [Lawyers’] Improved Executive Control: Refined Affective Awareness........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. I spent thirteen years consulting with managers and nothing could turn them into anxious giggling adolescents faster than figuring out how to talk to an employee about offensive body odor. Somehow, it felt more “personal” than addressing issues like tardiness, inappropriate or disruptive behaviors, poor work performance, or the myriad […]

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Should you maybe change your last name so people like you better?
The incompetence stereotype: “........ Read more »

  • January 22, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Compelling Counter-Stereotypic Conditions

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Back in early 2010, we blogged about the impact of surprise on the brain. In a nutshell, surprise makes you stop and look at situations with a new perspective. When in the courtroom, surprise can make you question your assumptions and preconceived beliefs about the case. And that is precisely what you want when your […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Do haters have to hate? It would seem so.
An update on disrupting suspicion of atheists
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust = Mo........ Read more »

  • January 20, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

I want to be special: The desires of the conservative and the liberal

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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We have nothing to fear (unless we are conservative)
The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and ........ Read more »

Stern C, West TV, & Schmitt PG. (2014) The liberal illusion of uniqueness. Psychological Science, 25(1). PMID: 24247730  

  • January 17, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Narcissism and Social Media Use

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve seen a lot of commentary about narcissistic Millennials and how that self- involvement shows up in their use of social media. Well, yes–and not so much– according to new research. The researchers focus on whether one is an active user or a passive user of social media. (Active users create content while passive users […]

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Do judges who instruct jurors to avoid social media have an impact?
Panic on Tweet Street: “Without Twitter, I felt jittery and nake........ Read more »

Davenport, SW, Bergman, SM, Bergman, JZ, & Fearrington, ME. (2014) Twitter versus Facebook: Exploring the role of narcissism in the motives and usage of different social media platforms. . Computers in Human Behavior, 212-220. info:/

  • January 15, 2014
  • 10:43 AM

Why Me? Perceptions of Justice Influence Pain Experiences

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Life has its many twists and turns – to make sense of all of it, people sometimes take a “just world” approach, reasoning that people get more or less what […]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger Disgust = Moral Outrage

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Is that quick decision a good indicator of your moral character?
What........ Read more »

  • January 10, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

Declining stock values? You need to hire a “hot CEO”!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

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 […]

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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  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 08:02 AM

The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It is well-known that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001, the level of fear towards (and hate crimes against) Muslims has increased dramatically. Researchers have looked for ways to predict fearful attitudes toward Muslims and pondered just what high versus medium or low levels of fear of Muslims might mean. The Islamophobia […]

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The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
Keep your eye on this one: A Depravity Scale
The GASP scale: ........ Read more »

Lee, SA, Reid, CA, Short, SD, Gibbons, JA, Yeh, R., & Campbell, ML. (2013) Fear of Muslims: Psychometric Evaluation of the Islamophobia Scale. . Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 5(3), 157-171. DOI: 10.1037/a0032117  

  • December 31, 2013
  • 10:00 AM

Super Rare Items Are Most Likely to Be Missed

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Various jobs in security, medicine, and other fields require employees to pick out a target item in the midst of lots of distracting information. To complicate matters, the targets that […]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2013
  • 06:55 PM

Professional Education and Development Alert: Emotional Intelligence, Effective Communication, and Interpersonal Sensitivity–Predictions About Medical School [Law School] Success In the Interpersonal Academic Performance Behavior Dimension

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Like the legal profession, the interpersonal behaviors of effective communication and interpersonal sensitivity matter greatly in the practice of medicine.  As a result of recent research, medical schools admissions committees and medical school faculty have some empirical support, and consequently may want start to assessing candidates for admission or medical students progressing through the [...]The post Professional Education and Development Alert: Emotional Intelligence, Effective Communi........ Read more »

  • December 20, 2013
  • 08:02 AM

A new question for the jury: Did my brain implant make me do it?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written as lot about “brain malfunction” [aka “did my brain make me do it?”] defenses here but this is a new twist on the neurolaw question. Deep brain stimulation (“DBS”) is a well-accepted treatment for a number of serious and treatment resistant neurological conditions from Parkinson’s Disease to depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As effective […]

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Opinions may vary depending on how you ask that question
Brain Porn? That is so 2008. Neuro-........ Read more »

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