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443 posts · 307,232 views

Social science research, current events & jury news all viewed through the lens of litigation advocacy with an emphasis on persuasion, bias, communication, and all phases of case preparation.

Rita Handrich
3 posts

Doug Keene
220 posts

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  • October 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 96 views

Admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on neurolaw issues and we think you’ll want to read the entire article upon which this post is based. The article is published in Court Review: Journal of the American Judges Association (which is probably a journal you would benefit from perusing regularly). The article (authored […]

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Confused about brain scans? Welcome to the club!
On brains, brain damage, pedophilia and other things we don’t like
Defending the Psychop........ Read more »

Rushing, SE. (2014) The admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials: The case of positron emission tomography. . Court Review, 50(2). info:/

  • September 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 74 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Should you consider 3-D for your courtroom videos?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Evidence admissibility issues aside, the answer is, “only if you can do it as well as they did in the 3D movie Polar Express”. As it turns out, 3D isn’t that much more impactful than 2D unless it’s done really, really well. Psychologists and neuroscientists studying emotion often use film clips for their research. So […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: When videos are too persuasive…
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Is tha........ Read more »

Bride DL, Crowell SE, Baucom BR, Kaufman EA, O'Connor CG, Skidmore CR, & Yaptangco M. (2014) Testing the Effectiveness of 3D Film for Laboratory-Based Studies of Emotion. PLoS ONE, 9(8). PMID: 25170878  

  • September 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 101 views

Would you prefer a smaller government? Actually, no you would not. 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

For a number of years now, we have been asking our mock jurors what role they think government should play in our society and giving them a number of options among which to choose. Most of them say government should play a smaller role and we certainly have all heard the media messages that tell us […]

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“Just about always” and “Never” responses to trusting the federal government
Men prefer boxes and women prefer ellipses?
You might be a conservative if…you p........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 144 views

Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to new research, you can’t have both. Inspired by women who told them they “would not vote for Hillary Clinton [in the Presidential primaries a decade later] because she forgave then-President Bill Clinton’s infidelity”, these researchers looked at how male and female observers viewed male and female victims of infidelity based on how they […]

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How leaders look: Competent and trustworthy, but not dominant
Is it best to be competent, warm, or moral?
You wa........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 71 views

It’s 2014: Where are all the female subjects in surgical research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

More than two decades after the 1993 Revitalization Act was signed (stating women and minorities must be included in NIH funded research), females are still under-represented in both “basic science and translational surgical research”. The authors acknowledge that medical research on human subjects is only a small subset of all medical research. However, even those […]

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Female bosses can lower a man’s pay & prestige
Should you ask your overweight female client to........ Read more »

Yoon DY, Mansukhani NA, Stubbs VC, Helenowski IB, Woodruff TK, & Kibbe MR. (2014) Sex bias exists in basic science and translational surgical research. Surgery, 156(3), 508-516. PMID: 25175501  

  • September 17, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 76 views

The Disgust Scale: How have we missed this all this time?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve covered a lot of the disgust research so it is curious to us that somehow we missed sharing the actual Disgust Scale with you earlier. The Disgust Scale was developed by the infamous Jonathan Haidt (his surname is pronounced “height”) back in 1994 before disgust was considered cool. In brief, the Disgust Scale was […]

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Disgust and lost confidence in our institutions
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust = Moral Outrage
Choosing to either disgust your jurors o........ Read more »

Olatunji, B. O., Haidt, J., McKay, D., David, B. (2008) Core, animal reminder, and contamination disgust: Three kinds of disgust with distinct personality, behavioral, physiological, and clinical correlates. Journal of Research in Personality, 1243-1259. info:/

  • September 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 71 views

“Smart people ask for (my) advice!”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are often wary of asking for advice for fear of looking dumb or appearing incompetent. Oddly enough, our fears may be unfounded based on some new research out of Harvard Business School. According to the researchers, asking for advice does not make you appear either dumb or incompetent. Instead, asking for advice makes you […]

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News Flash: Gay people are different than straight people
Name that gadget, widget, or otherwise smart device!
When you wear glasses you are les........ Read more »

Brooks, AW, Gino, F, & Schweitzer, ME. (2014) Smart people ask for (my) advice: Seeking advice boosts perceptions of competence. . Harvard Business School Working Papers. info:/

  • September 8, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 186 views

Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I listen to a lot of audiobooks while traveling. But sometimes I want something less lengthy than a full book and so I turn to podcasts. Recently, I was on a plane and turned on an episode of the NPR TED Radio Hour podcast on Why We Lie. It’s an interesting and wide-ranging look at […]

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Never trust a man with a wide face
I can tell from your face that you are suicidal
A law firm’s financial success & the managing partners’ face


... Read more »

  • September 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 122 views

“S/he is just not one of us…”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Just over a year ago, The Jury Expert published an article on bias and ambiguity in times of economic stress. The article was titled Does This Recession Make Me Look Black? –and it focused on how White Americans see racially ambiguous appearing others as in-group members until times are tough and then we see them […]

Related posts:
Excuse me while I slip into something more Caucasian
Is there a relationship between age and ethnic prejudice?
Nice guys really do finish last! (Or at ........ Read more »

Kteily, N, Cotterill, S, Sidanius, J, Sheehy-Skeffington, J, & Bergh, R. (2014) “Not one of us”: Predictors and consequences of denying in-group characteristics to ambiguous targets. . Personality . info:/

  • September 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 107 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “The defendant is just an animal!” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a pretty simple way for Prosecutors to motivate jurors to lock up a Defendant and throw away the key. It’s all about language. There are words you can use to evoke a more negative (animalistic) sense of the Defendant and there are words that, while still describing egregious behavior, are more neutrally descriptive. The […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Activate the ‘intuitive prosecutor’
Simple Jury Persuasion: Decreasing victim condemnation in sexual harassment ........ Read more »

Vasquez, EA, Loughnan, S, Gootjes-Dreesbach, E, & Weger, U. (2014) The animal in you: Animalistic descriptions of a violent crime increase punishment of perpetrator. . Aggressive Behavior, 337-344. info:/

  • August 27, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 248 views

Just how diverse is this group, really?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We often make assumptions when discussing diversity that we all perceive a group’s diversity in the same way. Today’s research shows that simply isn’t so. That is, you and I (depending on our racial in-group) can look at the same group and you might say it is diverse while I say it is not. What […]

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Improving working relationships in your ethnically diverse jury
Religion, ethnicity and Asian-American’s voting patterns
Proof we don’t hire the most qualified candid........ Read more »

  • August 25, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 191 views

Women are easily misled so why not lie to them in negotiations?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Back in 2012, we wrote about which gender was the more moral in negotiations. (Spoiler alert: it was women.) Now we have a new article on why women get lied to in negotiations. Not when or if–but why. Basically, people believe women are more easily misled than men and people believe women to be less […]

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Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the female?
Negotiating Salary 101 for Women Only
Negotiations: Starting high and ending with nothing


... Read more »

Kray, LJ, Kennedy, JA, & Van Zant, AB. (2014) Not competent enough to know the difference? Gender stereotypes about women’s ease of being misled predict negotiator deception. . Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. info:/

  • August 22, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 156 views

RIP Demographics? Well, probably not…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve just published a new article in The Jury Expert that “should” signal the death of the simplistic use of demographics in voir dire and jury selection. Will it? Not likely. Partly this is the fault of courts that are becoming increasingly restrictive of time and the scope of questions posed to jurors. If litigants cannot ask substantive […]

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The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and conservatives differ
Latest Edition of the Jury Expert
What’s a m........ Read more »

Douglas L. Keene, & Rita R. Handrich. (2014) Demographic Roulette: What Was Once a Bad Idea Has Gotten Worse. The Jury Expert, 26(3.). info:/

  • August 20, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 150 views

Be still my heart: A short (one-item!) measure of narcissism? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are all about short measures of psychological constructs. You might say watching the development of various scales is a hobby here (just look at all these posts!). With rare exception, courts don’t permit lengthy questionnaires, or questions that sound like a psychological screening test. So when the Neuroskeptic blogged about a new one-item scale […]

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The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep G........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 118 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: When videos are too persuasive…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s hard to know why research that is a almost a decade old is seen as fodder for a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, but so it goes. Jennifer Mnookin, a law professor at UCLA, certainly has an impressive resumé, and it is likely most readers of the NYT are not familiar with […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: When a Picture Can Sink Your Case
Simple Jury Persuasion: Being “right” versus being persuasive
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make Your Expert Optimally Persuasive


... Read more »

  • August 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 167 views

Did you hear the one about older adults being targeted for fraud?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Of course you did. But you may want to take a look at this study because, maybe, it isn’t true after all. It certainly is a well-known myth if it is not true. This appears to be one of those situations where we add up what we know and then come up with a conclusion […]

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When it comes to corporate fraud in America, men are almost always to blame
Is it true that older jurors are more likely to convict?
Birthers, deathers, and did you hear about Jimmy Hoffa?


... Read more »

Ross, M, Grossman, I, & Schryer, E. (2014) Contrary to psychological and popular opinion, there is no compelling evidence that older adults are disproportionately victimized by consumer fraud. . Perspectives on Psychological Science. info:/

  • August 13, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 134 views

“I see my patients as less than fully human”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s an intriguing article on how some nurses cope with stress. If you think, based on the title of this post, they do it by dehumanizing their patients, you would be correct. Somehow we think this is not a good thing to admit on the witness stand, but it is an understandable and human reaction […]

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I see diversity, you see divisiveness
The new issue of The Jury Expert is available now!
When you expect a gorilla you often miss other unexpected things


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Trifiletti, E, Di Bernardo, GA, Falvo, R, & Capozza, D. (2014) Patients are not fully human: a nurse’s coping response to stress. . Journal of Applied Social Psychology. . info:/

  • August 11, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 160 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: When your Muslim female client wears a head-covering

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about bias against Muslims. But here’s a nice article with an easy to incorporate finding on how to reduce bias against your female client who wears a Muslim head-covering. (In case you have forgotten, we’ve already written about head-coverings for the Muslim man.) The graphic illustrating this post shows […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Tilt your head. (no kidding)
Simple Jury Persuasion: In the face of ambiguity, we just make stuff up!
S........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 173 views

Do you believe there are Angels and Demons among us?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 [THAT's TODAY!] to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) […]

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Keep your eye on this one: A Depravity Scale
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Cathedrals, civic buildings and your tolerance for ambiguity


... Read more »

  • August 4, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 218 views

“Everyday liars” and “Prolific liars”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The American Bar Association is seeking nominations until August 8, 2014 to help it decide on the Top 100 law blogs (“Blawgs”). We have been in the ABA Top 100 for the past 4 years and would like to make it 5! If you like this blog, please nominate us (it’s fast and free) here. THANKS! […]

Related posts:
Do great liars know how to tell if you’re lying to them? (Yes, they do!)
Outsmarting liars (five decades of research)
We know liars when we see ‘em


... Read more »

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