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  • April 18, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 582 views

How you do not want jurors to look at you: The  universal “not face” 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney had a bad day at the Olympics in 2012 and the facial expression illustrating this post went viral. She was “not impressed” said the internet—and today’s researchers would say the internet was half right. What McKayla Maroney was really showing us, according to today’s research, was the universal “not face”. Researchers […]

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“I can tell how she feels by looking at her face…”
You can tell a lot from looking at someone’........ Read more »

  • April 15, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 647 views

Negotiating with a manipulative party? Try doing it in text and you  may fare better

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about those with what are called the “dark triad” of personality characteristics. Narcissists. Psychopaths. Machiavellians. These are not people we recommend doing business with—either personally or professionally. Their only interest is self-interest. So this is an interesting study as it shares a possible way to inoculate yourself against these untrustworthy folks […]

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Negotiating salary: Ask for a precise number!
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
“I ........ Read more »

  • April 14, 2016
  • 07:52 AM
  • 751 views

10 things I learned while working for the Dutch science funding council (NWO)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  The way science is currently funded is very controversial. During the last 6 months I was on a break from my PhD and worked for the organisation funding science in the Netherlands (NWO). These are 10 insights I gained. 1) Belangenverstrengeling This is the first word I learned when arriving in The Hague. There is […]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 424 views

Bias against mixed race people depends on where you  live

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s a somewhat predictable but still disturbing finding: If you live in an area where you are not exposed to other races—those of mixed race are confusing to you and that confusion leads to bias against anyone of mixed race. At least confusion is better than outrage—which is what greeted the makers of Cheerios cereal […]

Related posts:
Who is multiracial? Apparently, it depends on how you ask… 
Playing the race card: When it works and why it doesn’t
So we cannot talk about........ Read more »

  • April 6, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 799 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!” [#humblebr........ 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  

  • April 3, 2016
  • 03:25 PM
  • 750 views

Debunking the Myth of the Sole Genious

by Paco Jariego in Mind the Post

Innovations don’t require heroic geniuses any more than your thoughts hinge on a particular neuron.... Read more »

Muthukrishna, M., & Henrich, J. (2016) Innovation in the collective brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1690), 20150192. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0192  

  • March 29, 2016
  • 10:01 AM
  • 1,111 views

Nostalgia is a Muse

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

This view has been challenged by the University of Southampton researchers Constantine Sedikides and Tim Wildschut, who have spent the past decade studying the benefits of nostalgia. Not only do they disavow its disease status, they have conducted numerous studies which suggest that nostalgia can make us more creative, open-minded and charitable. The definition of nostalgia used by Sedikides and Wildschut as a "sentimental longing for one's past" is based on the contemporary usage........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 664 views

Inner Reading Voices: “Mine sometimes yell at me…” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

When doing pretrial research we have occasionally had mock jurors show up who were inebriated or high (yes, even at 7:45am), hostile or disruptive, confused more than the average person or obviously hearing voices or responding to companions no one else could see. Yes. Occasionally people with obviously serious psychiatric disorders make it through the […]

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Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 
What’s that book you’re reading as you wait to be impane........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 649 views

Black may be beautiful but apparently black isn’t brilliant and  females are not geniuses 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

At least according to this analysis of more than 14 million college student reviews on RateMyProfessors.com where students post anonymous reviews of their professors. In an open access article available at PLOS ONE, the authors found that students writing reviews on the popular website most often used the words “brilliant” and “genius” to describe male […]

Related posts:
Who is multiracial? Apparently, it depends on how you ask… 
The “euphemism treadmill”: Is it African-Am........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 522 views

Does race make a difference in how jurors perceive  battered spouse syndrome cases?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

In a word, yes. But perhaps not in the way you might think. Researchers were interested in seeing if the race of parties involved in battered spouse syndrome case defenses would make a difference in how jurors made decisions about verdicts. The researchers say their study is a contribution to the “scarce literature on the […]

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Playing the race card: When it works and why it doesn’t
Is it possible that jurors will be misled by emotional  testimony and gruesome photos? ........ Read more »

  • March 18, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 735 views

The Metaphor Usage Measure (MUM) Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We often pick up terrific metaphors that fit well with specific cases during pretrial research. Sometimes they are very funny and sometimes they are simply evocative. But they are almost always useful and we listen carefully to see how they resonate with other mock jurors when they arise. Today’s research describes a scale to help […]

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The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 


... Read more »

Fetterman, AK, Bair, JL, Werth, M, Landkammer, F, & Robinson, MD. (2015) The scope and consequences of metaphoric thinking: Using individual differences in metaphor usage to understand how metaphors function. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • March 16, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 751 views

”Willful ignorance” and the denigration of others 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

A while back we wrote about meat-eaters denigrating vegetarians. Apparently it is more common than one might think to make fun of “do-gooders” if you are not a “do-gooder” yourself. Today we are examining research on making fun of those who shop ethically. According to the researchers (from Ohio State University’s marketing department and UT […]

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Does the Millennial know that tattoo might be a business  faux pas?
“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a mode........ Read more »

  • March 14, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 473 views

Want to be seen as a leader? Go work out! 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It wasn’t long ago we said all you had to do to be seen as a leader was grow a mustache but apparently this also helps! Men who look “strong” physically are presumed to be good leaders compared to men who do not look strong physically. These researchers had mastered Photoshop so we know their […]

Related posts:
You wanted to be a leader! Act like one! (or else)
Now, that’s a good-looking leader! (At  least, in this group.)
Want to be a leader? Maybe you should grow a  mustache........ Read more »

Lukaszewski, A., Simmons, Z., Anderson, C., & Roney, J. (2015) The Role of Physical Formidability in Human Social Status Allocation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspi0000042  

  • March 11, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 723 views

Bad brains and bad behavior: A primer for the attorney 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Neurocriminology, say the authors of today’s paper, is “the study of the brain and how it affects antisocial behavior”. When neurocriminology comes to the courtroom, we call it neurolaw and we have blogged about this intersection between neurosciences and law for years. The paper we are posting about today is meant as a primer on […]

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A new question for the jury: Did my brain implant make me do it?
Does priming influence behavior of even the “bad boys”?
On brains........ Read more »

Jorgensen, C., Anderson, N., & Barnes, J. (2016) Bad Brains: Crime and Drug Abuse from a Neurocriminological Perspective. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 41(1), 47-69. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-015-9328-0  

  • March 10, 2016
  • 10:08 PM
  • 194 views

Mates Make Groups for Individualists But Not for Collectivists

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

Humans are an incredibly groupy type of animal. We form psychologically-meaningful groups based on our gender, age, nationality, religion, politics, skin colour, occupation, sexual inclination, and sports teams, to name just a few. Even in the artificial environment of psychology labs, people will identify with groups based on their totally random allocation to “Group A.” Indeed, they will declare that they feel “more similar” to Group A members than to Group B members, a........ Read more »

  • March 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 689 views

Punctuation is important in text messages! 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Not life and death important like commas can be, but if you do not make a point of ending your text reply with a period you may be misinterpreted. Just last week we blogged about the sarcasm emoticon and now we are blogging about periods? It’s true. Punctuation can not only save lives, it apparently […]

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“I know I shouldn’t text from the toilet,  but….”
Be careful what you text!
News You Can Use (like how Pepsi knows there was no mouse in your Mountain Dew)


... Read more »

Gunraj, D., Drumm-Hewitt, A., Dashow, E., Upadhyay, S., & Klin, C. (2016) Texting insincerely: The role of the period in text messaging. Computers in Human Behavior, 1067-1075. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.003  

  • March 2, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 649 views

“My brain made me do it”: A neurolaw update 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about neurolaw fairly routinely here and recently Science Magazine took a look at what they call “the growing use of neurobiological evidence in criminal trials”. In our own experiences with pretrial research, mock jurors are not often accepting of “my brain made me do it” defenses and will roll their eyes and sometimes […]

Related posts:
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
On brains, brain damage, pedophilia and other things we don’t like ........ Read more »

  • February 29, 2016
  • 06:41 PM
  • 906 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 Inter........ 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 26, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 781 views

Spiders, dogs, assassins, beards and the demons  of sleep paralysis (things you want to know)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We read a lot of articles in order to blog regularly and often find intriguing (not to mention weird, odd, esoteric, freakish) pieces of information to which we do not wish to devote an entire post—yet, also do not wish to hoard the information. At times like these, you will see a collection of the […]

Related posts:
Feeling biased? Just go to sleep and wake up bias-free! 
Lumbersexuals with tattoos: Are they new and improved? 
Do you believe there are Angels and Demons among us?

........ Read more »

  • February 24, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 629 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: What would Jesus do? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

A few years ago we were doing a mock trial in New York City and I saw a Rastafarian street vendor selling coffee cups with WWJD on them in block print. I thought it was odd and so looked more closely to find in teeny tiny letters under WWJD, it said “What would Jung do?”. […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: It’s really pretty black and white….
Simple Jury Persuasion: Analytic or Intuitive?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Christian religious concepts increase racial prejudice ........ Read more »

Ginges J, Sheikh H, Atran S, & Argo N. (2016) Thinking from God's perspective decreases biased valuation of the life of a nonbeliever. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(2), 316-9. PMID: 26711991  

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