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  • October 26, 2015
  • 04:00 AM
  • 1,078 views

Sticks and stones (1): How names work & why they hurt

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

Boiling a frog In 1781, Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, a civil servant, political writer and historian in what was then Prussia published a two volume work entitled Über die Bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden (“On the Civic Improvement of Jews”). In it, von Dohm laid out the case for emancipation for a people systematically denied the […]... Read more »

Fryer, R., & Levitt, S. (2004) The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(3), 767-805. DOI: 10.1162/0033553041502180  

Nunley, J.M., Pugh, A., Romero, N., & Seals, R.A. (2014) An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field. Auburn Economics Working Paper Series. info:/

Zajonc, R. (1968) Attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9(2), 1-27. DOI: 10.1037/h0025848  

  • October 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 714 views

How to make lies appear to be truthful and other things you need to know

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We often read articles that don’t have enough content to make us want to devote an entire blog post to them but that seem useful or intriguing or just plain fun. Here’s a few more of those tidbits. “Illusory truth” and the repeated  falsehood Back in 2009, we wrote a post called I never knew […]

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Expecting honesty and getting lies—when are you most able to tell it’s a lie?  
“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the inte........ Read more »

Fazio LK, Brashier NM, Payne BK, & Marsh EJ. (2015) Knowledge does not protect against illusory truth. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(5), 993-1002. PMID: 26301795  

  • October 19, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,008 views

Expecting honesty and getting lies—when are you most able to tell it’s a lie?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write often about lying and deception and none of us like to discover we’ve been lied to by either a stranger or by someone whom we know [or thought we knew] well. Despite how often we encounter dishonesty, there is a tendency to presume honesty in what we hear from others. So is it […]

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Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?
Another look at who lies…
“You know who else lies?” she screeches. “LAWYERS lie!”


... Read more »

DesJardins, N., & Hodges, S. (2015) Reading Between the Lies: Empathic Accuracy and Deception Detection. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(7), 781-787. DOI: 10.1177/1948550615585829  

  • October 16, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 576 views

The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Often, social science research studies have scales (i.e., paper and pencil measures) that may have relevance to litigation advocacy. When they seem to (or when they are just bizarre) we write about them here. If you’d like to see all the scales we blogged about over time, take a look here. It ranges from the […]

Related posts:
Women who trust too much: The Unmitigated Communion Scale
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
70% of evangelicals do not see reli........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2015
  • 09:53 AM
  • 1,626 views

Feel Our Pain: Empathy and Moral Behavior

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

"It's empathy that makes us help other people. It's empathy that makes us moral." The economist Paul Zak casually makes this comment in his widely watched TED talk about the hormone oxytocin, which he dubs the "moral molecule". Zak quotes a number of behavioral studies to support his claim that oxytocin increases empathy and trust, which in turn increases moral behavior. If all humans regularly inhaled a few puffs of oxytocin through a nasal spray, we could become m........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1262-1266. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

Shalvi S, & De Dreu CK. (2014) Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(15), 5503-7. PMID: 24706799  

Xu X, Zuo X, Wang X, & Han S. (2009) Do you feel my pain? Racial group membership modulates empathic neural responses. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(26), 8525-9. PMID: 19571143  

  • October 14, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 561 views

You might want to start assessing perseverance in potential job  applicants

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

While you may not have heard the term “counterproductive work behaviors” if you are not in the habit of reading organizational behavior research, you certainly will recognize the behaviors when you see them: absenteeism, lateness, rudeness and incivility. This is an interesting study because rather than studying counter-productive work behaviors (aka “bad behavior”) they wanted […]

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Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 
“Belief Perseverance”: Co........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 718 views

Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Apparently it’s all about motivated reasoning and uncertainty. When people hear new research findings that are unfamiliar or hear new findings that contradict what they already believe—they are likely to feel uncertain and confused. When you feel that way, it is unpleasant and you want to get back to feeling certain and clear about how […]

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Have reports of the death of the civil jury trial been premature?
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theor........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 858 views

Police observers are more observant than ordinary  civilians

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most research has not shown police to be any more observant than ordinary civilians—even though judges and juries often make assumptions that police witnesses are more reliable than civilian eyewitnesses. New research by Dutch researchers shows that police observers were more aware of details in a drug deal near a hotel which had been recorded […]

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Are jurors more skeptical of police on the witness stand now? 
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
An ........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2015
  • 11:38 AM
  • 842 views

Who Are You Wearing?: Does Competition Affect How Women View Luxury?

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

What do you think of when I say “luxury consumption”? Probably something that requires a Robin Leach voice over, right? Now what if I ask you why these luxuries are so valued? Is it because they are of excellent quality? Aesthetically appealing? Highly exclusive? Next, consider the audience for the luxury – who is admiring who? And what does that luxury symbolize? Status? Wealth? Success?A recent paper in Evolutionary Psychology takes a look at these questions and has one of the best title........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 11:30 PM
  • 886 views

Social Class Differences in Mental Health: Do Parenting Style and Friendship Play a Role?

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

It is now well-established that social class is positively related to mental health. However, researchers remain unclear about the specific processes that underlie the relation between social class and depression. In some recent research, we investigated the potential roles of parenting style and friendship in explaining the relationship between social class and mental health.... Read more »

  • October 5, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 646 views

Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theorist’s intense beliefs?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

According to new research with a large sample from all across the United States, the answer is yes! If you have read this blog for long, you know we love a good conspiracy theorist and use their idiosyncratic associations in pretrial research to plug holes in case narratives. The researchers briefly review the past literature […]

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Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Would you get sucked in to conspiracy theories?
Think conspiracy theorists live on ........ Read more »

  • September 28, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 864 views

Ten minutes of uninterrupted eye contact causes hallucinations and other important things 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

There are many things we read and discard rather than sharing them (and our take on them) with you, but other things we read and grin and think you might want to know. We’ve described these before as odd facts for sharing over drinks or dinner or around the office. It isn’t the most pivotal […]

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“Cultural competency” is important for your financial bottom line
The Donald Trump Effect:  Press coverage can determine public opinion and maybe election outcomes
Things ........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 758 views

Who has the deepest voice amongst the Republican  candidates for President?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

I watched the second Republican debate last week after reading two more articles on voice pitch and winning elections. Not coincidentally, I had to struggle to keep from focusing on who had the deepest voice among the candidates. We’ve written about this line of research before and tend to think of it as the Barry […]

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Republicans prefer ‘Republican-looking’ political candidates
Feel the power of that deep and resonant voice!
How leaders look: Competent and trustwort........ Read more »

  • September 21, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 747 views

Predicting who will murder their spouse or  family members

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a fascinating study on how those that kill significant others or family members are different from those who kill strangers. The first author explains how these murderers are different, saying “These murders are usually in the heat of passion and generally involve drugs or alcohol and often are driven by jealousy or revenge […]

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Texas + Wealth + Family Lawsuits = Dysfunction?
You killed your spouse. But who is responsible?
When strangers are better than your Mom,........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,242 views

“Gaydar”: Real or plain and simple stereotyping? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A study a while back showed ‘above chance’ guessing of sexual orientation based on photographs of faces alone. The results were explained as proof of gaydar. Now, a new study says gaydar is not real and is a way to stereotype others that is seen as more “socially and personally acceptable”. They point to a […]

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The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay + Black = Likable?
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 639 views

Better signs equals less friction: Why you need a good graphics  person

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a study about road safety that doesn’t know it’s a nice indication of why litigators need good graphics. We have blogged before about the value of graphics so it’s good to see more research that is so sensible to highlight the value of the visual in the courtroom. Today’s researchers wanted to see which […]

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A picture is worth a thousand words…
Surely we are not talking about the same person!
You can improve your litigation advocacy (for free!)


... Read more »

  • September 5, 2015
  • 06:21 AM
  • 1,133 views

Are internal replications the solution to the replication crisis in Psychology? No.

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Most Psychology findings are not replicable. What can be done? Stanford psychologist Michael Frank has an idea : Cumulative study sets with internal replication. ‘If I had to advocate for a single change to practice, this would be it.’ I took a look whether this makes any difference. A recent paper in the journal Science […]... Read more »

  • September 3, 2015
  • 06:23 AM
  • 990 views

Why are Psychological findings mostly unreplicable?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Take 97 psychological effects from top journals which are claimed to be robust. How many will replicate? Brian Nosek and his huge team tried it out and the results were sobering, to say the least. How did we get here? The data give some clues. Sometimes the title of a paper just sounds incredible. Estimating […]... Read more »

  • August 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 584 views

Talking about climate change without  knee-jerk responses from listeners

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We recently posted new research on the secret to combatting distrust of science. Now we have more research on how to talk about climate change without setting off automatic and defensive reactions from listeners. Not many of our readers are going to be litigating climate change issues, but the challenge of discussing complex scientific issues […]

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How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…
Eyewitness identification and change blindness
Are conse........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 876 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 […]

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A law firm’s financial success & the managing partners’ face
Intergenerational Law Offices and Intergenerationa........ Read more »

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