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  • May 31, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,041 views

Your best bet for an expert witness is a friendly  nerd rather than an attractive scientist

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And it doesn’t really matter if the expert is male or female, if they are young or old, and they can be any ethnicity! In other words, said the researchers—the variables we have read so much about (i.e., gender, age, ethnicity) are not as notable as whether someone “looks like” our stereotype of a “good […]... Read more »

Gheorghiu, A., Callan, M., & Skylark, W. (2017) Facial appearance affects science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)., 201620542. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620542114  

  • May 29, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 946 views

Witness preparation: To vocal fry or not to vocal  fry?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you are young(er) you likely know precisely what vocal fry means and if you are old(er)—probably not so much. It is a cultural phenomenon seen primarily (but not only) in young(er) women as described at the Mental Floss website: “Vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds. […]... Read more »

  • May 23, 2017
  • 01:38 PM
  • 431 views

Dismantle the Poverty Trap by Nurturing Community Trust

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Understanding the precise reasons for why people living in poverty often make decisions that seem short-sighted, such as foregoing more education or taking on high-interest short-term loans, is the first step to help them escape poverty. The obvious common-sense fix is to ensure that the basic needs of all citizens – food, shelter, clothing, health and personal safety – are met, so that they no longer have to use all new funds for survival. This is obviously easier in the developed world, but it is not a trivial matter considering that the USA – supposedly the richest country in the world – has an alarmingly high poverty rate. It is estimated that more than 40 million people in the US live in poverty, fearing hunger and eviction from their homes. But just taking care of these basic needs may not be enough to help citizens escape poverty. A recent research study by Jon Jachimowicz at Columbia University and his colleagues investigated “myopic” (short-sighted) decision-making of people with lower income and identified an important new factor: community trust.... Read more »

Jachimowicz, J., Chafik, S., Munrat, S., Prabhu, J., & Weber, E. (2017) Community trust reduces myopic decisions of low-income individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201617395. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1617395114  

  • January 24, 2017
  • 12:52 PM
  • 652 views

Crowdfunding and Tribefunding in Science

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Competition for government research grants to fund scientific research remains fierce in the United States. The budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which constitute the major source of funding for US biological and medical research, has been increased only modestly during the past decade but it is not even keeping up with inflation. This problem is compounded by the fact that more scientists are applying for grants now than one or two decades ago, forcing the NIH to enforce strict cut-offs and only fund the top 10-20% of all submitted research proposals. Such competition ought to be good for the field because it could theoretically improve the quality of science. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to discern differences between excellent research grants. For example, if an institute of the NIH has a cut-off at the 13 percentile range, then a grant proposal judged to be in the top 10% would receive funding but a proposal in top 15% would end up not being funded. In an era where universities are also scaling back their financial support for research, an unfunded proposal could ultimately lead to the closure of a research laboratory and the dismissal of several members of a research team. Since the prospective assessment of a research proposal’s scientific merits are somewhat subjective, it is quite possible that the budget constraints are creating cemeteries of brilliant ideas and concepts, a world of scientific what-ifs that are forever lost.... Read more »

Vachelard J, Gambarra-Soares T, Augustini G, Riul P, & Maracaja-Coutinho V. (2016) A Guide to Scientific Crowdfunding. PLoS Biology, 14(2). PMID: 26886064  

  • January 18, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 575 views

Nasty women earn more money (but it isn’t all roses) 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We have written a lot about how women are treated unequally (which can, sometimes, make it hard to be a woman). Initially, we illustrated these posts with various photos of Tammy Wynette but we decided to stop picking on her for one song (“Stand By Your Man”). So this post illustrates a rough truth (that […]... Read more »

  • December 6, 2016
  • 09:46 AM
  • 649 views

Are American Professors More Responsive to Requests Made by White Male Students?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

The vast majority of professors will gladly meet a prospective graduate student and discuss research opportunities as well as long-term career options, especially if the student requesting the meeting clarifies the goal of the meeting. However, there are cases when students wait in vain for a response. Is it because their email never reached the professor because it got lost in the internet ether or a spam folder? Was the professor simply too busy to respond? A research study headed by Katherine Milkman from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that the lack of response from the professor may in part be influenced by the perceived race or gender of the student.... Read more »

  • December 2, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 441 views

Should I trust you? Let me see your face… 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If you try to identify what it is that makes someone trustworthy, you might list their forthrightness, values consistent with your own, or even their willingness to embrace unpopular positions. And that is all well and good but it likely is untrue. Instead, researchers tell us, we draw “relatively stable trustworthinesss impressions from facial appearance”. […]

Related posts:
Your face can get you killed… 
Never trust a man with a wide face
You can tell a lot from looking at someone’s face…


... Read more »

Klapper, A., Dotsch, R., van Rooij, I., & Wigboldus, D. (2016) Do we spontaneously form stable trustworthiness impressions from facial appearance?. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111(5), 655-664. DOI: 10.1037/pspa0000062  

  • November 16, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 472 views

Beards, designing in discrimination, assertion for women, and the exhausting process of helping  

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You are not seeing double. Over the last month we’ve kept reading and reading and reading but many of the articles we read for the blog were fun but just not substantive enough for a full blog post. So. Think of this as the director’s cut version of the blog—full of things you wish we’d […]

Related posts:
Science knowledge, objectifying women, earning  power, and social media colors
Spiders, dogs, assassins, beards and the demons  of sleep paralysis (things you want to know)
Listen to that man! He is attractive and likely high in status


... Read more »

  • November 10, 2016
  • 12:55 PM
  • 596 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: When does your client need to go  beyond apology?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Gender stereotypes are powerful things and when your client has broken gender stereotypes and broken trust with others, they need to go beyond mere apology. First, a bit about what gender stereotypes are: Women are expected to be benevolent and concerned about others while men are expected to be confident, competitive and independent. Go against […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: When your Muslim female client wears a head-covering
Simple Jury Persuasion: “I transgressed. Please forgive me.”
Simple Jury Persuasion: When minority jurors  are not so good for your client


... Read more »

Frawley, S., & Harrison, J. (2016) A social role perspective on trust repair. Journal of Management Development, 35(8), 1045-1055. DOI: 10.1108/JMD-10-2015-0149  

  • June 20, 2016
  • 11:44 AM
  • 1,025 views

The Mesh of Civilizations in Cyberspace

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

A team of researchers from Stanford University, Cornell University and Yahoo recently decided to evaluate the "connectedness" of the hypothesized Huntington civilizations in cyberspace and published their results in the article "The Mesh of Civilizations in the Global Network of Digital Communication".

The researchers examined Twitter users and the exchange of emails between Yahoo-Mail users in 90 countries with a minimum population of five million. In total, they analyzed "hundreds of millions of anonymized email and Twitter communications among tens of millions of worldwide users to map global patterns of transnational interpersonal communication". ... Read more »

  • June 15, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 874 views

The Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS) 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We posted earlier this week about the new concept of “maladaptive daydreaming” and those researchers published a second article on an actual 14-item scale to assess whether a specific individual is a maladaptive daydreamer. Since it’s a strange area that may end up in the courtroom—we thought we’d share information and some of the items […]

Related posts:
The Motivation to Express Prejudice Scale 
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale


... Read more »

Somer E, Lehrfeld J, Bigelsen J, & Jopp DS. (2016) Development and validation of the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS). Consciousness and Cognition, 77-91. PMID: 26707384  

  • April 27, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 695 views

A cure for the know-it-all: “Reflecting on explanatory ability” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us think we know more than we actually do and sometimes, that sense is taken to an extreme that can be annoying (as well as inaccurate). Two years ago, we wrote about a study on modulating political extremism and mentioned the recommended strategy was similar to one we use to topple self-appointed “experts” […]

Related posts:
Uncommon Wisdom: Lessons from Patent and IP  Mock Jurors
So can you explain how that works in your own words?
Guilt-proneness and the ability to recognize the emotions of  others


... Read more »

  • April 6, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 996 views

“The Chocolate Cake Model”: Too much of a  narcissist is a nauseating thing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Much like the chocolate cake staring at you from the dessert tray in that fine restaurant, the narcissist initially seems irresistible—but like the cake, when you indulge in a relationship with the narcissist, you will probably end up sick to your stomach. It’s called the Chocolate Cake Model of narcissism. And it’s  how today’s researchers […]

Related posts:
So…are you a narcissist? [The Ivy League  edition]
“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a model!” [#humblebrag]
Neurologically speaking, narcissists are needy 


... Read more »

Ong CW, Roberts R, Arthur CA, Woodman T, & Akehurst S. (2016) The Leader Ship Is Sinking: A Temporal Investigation of Narcissistic Leadership. Journal of Personality, 84(2), 237-47. PMID: 25487857  

  • February 29, 2016
  • 07:41 PM
  • 1,116 views

How (and when) to communicate sarcasm in email and texts 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

[Spoiler alert: Don’t do it. And especially don’t do it on a group message. But if you must, make it clear you are kidding.] We have covered the use of emoticons in legal settings before, but here’s a research article looking at what helps the receiver understand the context in which your written comments are […]

Related posts:
When is it just an email and when is it retaliation?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should you communicate the details or the big picture?
Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?


... Read more »

Filik R, Țurcan A, Thompson D, Harvey N, Davies H, & Turner A. (2015) Sarcasm and emoticons: Comprehension and emotional impact. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1-17. PMID: 26513274  

  • February 22, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 978 views

Substance use and other mental health concerns among US  attorneys

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Over the past few years, following a number of high-profile attorney suicides, much more attention has focused on mental health needs of attorneys. The study we are featuring today was funded by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. In short, the authors conclude we need to pay more […]

Related posts:
Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science
Lying makes me sick!
Defense Attorneys: More Sisyphus or more Don Quixote?


... Read more »

  • January 25, 2016
  • 12:55 PM
  • 973 views

Want to be a leader? Maybe you should grow a  mustache…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’re unsure if this strategy would work for women but it seems to work for men—at least in medical schools and teaching hospitals. We do presume those male leaders with mustaches do not have the sort of mustache illustrating this post but what do we know? We also tend to believe that if a woman […]

Related posts:
You wanted to be a leader! Act like one! (or else)
Gender and Leadership: When Do Women Excel?
Now, that’s a good-looking leader! (At  least, in this group.)


... Read more »

  • January 5, 2016
  • 10:16 AM
  • 1,680 views

We Have Become Exhausted Slaves in a Culture of Positivity

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

We live in an era of exhaustion and fatigue, caused by an incessant compulsion to perform. This is one of the central tenets of the book "Müdigkeitsgesellschaft" (translatable as "The Fatigue Society" or "The Tiredness Society") by the German philosopher Byung-Chul Han. Han is a professor at the Berlin Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) and one of the most widely read contemporary philosophers in Germany. He was born in Seoul where he studied metallurgy before he moved to Germany in the 1980s to pursue a career in philosophy. His doctoral thesis and some of his initial work in the 1990s focused on Heidegger but during the past decade, Han has written about broad range of topics regarding contemporary culture and society. "Müdigkeitsgesellschaft" was first published in 2010 and helped him attain a bit of a rock-star status in Germany despite his desire to avoid too much public attention – unlike some of his celebrity philosopher colleagues.... Read more »

Byung-Chul Han. (2015) The Burnout Society. Stanford University Press. info:/

  • December 8, 2015
  • 01:46 PM
  • 1,561 views

The Dire State of Science in the Muslim World

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Universities and the scientific infrastructures in Muslim-majority countries need to undergo radical reforms if they want to avoid falling by the wayside in a world characterized by major scientific and technological innovations. This is the conclusion reached by Nidhal Guessoum and Athar Osama in their recent commentary "Institutions: Revive universities of the Muslim world", published in the scientific journal Nature. The physics and astronomy professor Guessoum (American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates) and Osama, who is the founder of the Muslim World Science Initiative, use the commentary to summarize the key findings of the report "Science at Universities of the Muslim World" (PDF), which was released in October 2015 by a task force of policymakers, academic vice-chancellors, deans, professors and science communicators. This report is one of the most comprehensive analyses of the state of scientific education and research in the 57 countries with a Muslim-majority population, which are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).... Read more »

  • August 21, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,017 views

This and that: The secret to crowdfunding success, cold offices,  and nosy smartphones

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s another collection of interesting tidbits that don’t rate an entire blog post on their own but that we think worthy of mention. Think of them as our contribution to your conversational contributions over dinner, drinks, or to fill that awkward silence that pops up unexpectedly. Be thin, White and attractive for crowdfunding success! It’s […]

Related posts:
A law firm’s financial success & the managing partners’ face
Intergenerational Law Offices and Intergenerational Juries
The secret life of fonts


... Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 09:03 AM
  • 818 views

Perseverance Negatively Correlated with Counterproductive Work Behaviours

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

New research shows that perseverance might be a key character strength when it comes to counterproductive work behaviours. The researchers were interested in finding the character strengths that were most correlated with work performance and counterproductive work behaviours (things like absenteeism, lateness, … Continue reading →... Read more »

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