The Jury Room

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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
228 posts

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  • December 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 42 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: You are loved and cared for

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, today is the last day to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Is this perhaps the anti-reptile theory? We don’t know, but it is potentially a powerful stealth weapon for cases where your opponent is attempting […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: In the face of ambiguity, we just make stuff up!
Simple Jury Persuasion: “That was the witness who spoke so sadly”
Simp........ Read more »

  • December 17, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 38 views

Same sex marriage is okay but please, no PDA!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita We’ve blogged a number of times about changing attitudes toward same sex marriage.  […]

Related posts:
So how okay are we really with gay marriage?
Changing American Attitudes: Gay/Lesbian Issues
So we cannot talk about race but we overwhelmingly approve interracial marr........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 73 views

Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita If you are a murdered white female, your case will be investigated and […]

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Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Does the Prosecution want African-American jurors for the Trayvon Martin case?
Bev Kearney: Is it because I’m female, African-America........ Read more »

Pierce, G., Radelet, M., Posick, C., & Lyman, T. (2014) Race and the Construction of Evidence in Homicide Cases. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(4), 771-786. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-014-9259-1  

  • December 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 77 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Gender and message delivery and framing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Do........ Read more »

  • December 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 92 views

Subtly offending feedback [when in court presentation offends]

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita The research we are covering today focuses on feedback that is subtly offensive […]

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Expert witnesses on what causes bias in other expert witnesses
Chicago attorney explains to Court: “Personally, I like large breasts.”
Maybe you really should use Pow........ Read more »

Krings, R., Jacobshagen, N., Elfering, A., & Semmer, N. (2014) Subtly offending feedback. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12287  

  • December 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 58 views

The prospective moral licensing effect: “I can be bad now because I’m sure I will be good in the future!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita We’ve written before about moral licensing–it’s the cognitive process we use to say “I’m […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust = Moral Outrage
What’s a moral issue for us these days?
Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the f........ Read more »

  • November 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 103 views

Thin-slicing infidelity: Brief observation can reveal more than you ever thought!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Our clients are routinely stunned by the accuracy of  mock juror impressions of witnesses and parties based on a 6 to 8 minute video clip from depositions. Mock jurors quickly assess character and are often eager to share their insights. Their comments can be insightful, surprising, and sometimes biting in their judgments. So, okay. It’s […]

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Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?
A law firm’s financial success & the ........ Read more »

  • November 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 130 views

The “euphemism treadmill”: Is it African-American or Black?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s a constantly moving target. Just over a year ago, we wrote about this on-going question and cited a Gallup Poll saying 65% of Black Americans have no preference when it comes to labels used to describe their racial or ethnic group. The authors of today’s research article would disagree. They say there are consequences […]

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Should we say Black or African-American? Latino or Hispanic?
Everyday racism: A comparison of African American and Asian American Women
Are you........ Read more »

Hall, EV, Phillips, KW, & Townsend, SSM. (2014) A rose by any other name? The consequences of subtyping “African-Americans” from “Blacks”. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. . info:/

  • November 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 131 views

Non-citizen? Undocumented? Watch out for jury sentencing!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You are likely familiar with the fact that African-Americans and Hispanics often receive harsher sentences than do White defendants. So where do you think the undocumented immigrant or non-citizen would fall in that lineup? The undocumented receive the harshest sentences and non-citizens (who are in the country legally) come in second. Why? The authors of […]

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Are they “illegal aliens” or “undocumented workers”?
Go to jail. Go directly to jail. And if you are a woma........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 122 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “halo of scientific validity” effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written about the lack of evidence for the much-feared “CSI Effect”. But here’s an interesting study about the simple “appearance of science” as opposed to the bells and whistles of high-tech “CSI”-like evidence. All it takes is the use of “scientese” (scientific sounding words)–not to be confused with “lawyerese” (which we wrote about here […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Educating jurors about science may have no effect
Simple Jury Persuasi........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2014
  • 09:01 AM
  • 176 views

You can tell a lot from looking at someone’s face…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Our mock jurors (and many others as well) tend to believe the eyes are the “window to the soul” and that by simply looking at the eyes of another, they can intuit truthfulness and character. But it can be even easier! Just look at the face and you can actually assess introversion/extroversion, competence/incompetence, dominance/submission, and […]

Related posts:
I can tell from your face that you are suicidal
Never trust a man with a wide face
Wearing your religion on your face


... Read more »

Olivola, C., Funk, F., & Todorov, A. (2014) Social attributions from faces bias human choices. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(11), 566-570. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.09.007  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 99 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “not in my town!” effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A couple of years ago we were working for the Plaintiff on pretrial research for a case against a large national healthcare corporation. The Plaintiff had been injured quite dramatically due to what she alleged was the Defendant’s lack of care (i.e., negligence) in selling her what company executives knew to be a pharmaceutical product […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: The ‘Scott Peterson Effect’—Displayed remorse and conviction
Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effec........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 114 views

Do you smell red or blue? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This post might well fall into the category of “the route to tenure-track publication credits is not always the high road”. We discard lots of dicey research reports (such as this one) because they add nothing to our goal of improving litigation advocacy. But this one was so weird we found it amusing. Enjoy. But […]

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“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Things You Should (Maybe) Know…
........ Read more »

McDermott, R., Tingley, D., & Hatemi, P. (2014) Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 997-1005. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 143 views

Male? Don’t watch comedy videos prior to trial presentations…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Many have written about men being over-confident in comparison to women–although all of us may be more confident in our abilities than we generally should be. Prior research has shown us that men are more confident than women, and that happy people tend to view themselves more positively and happy people actually often perform better […]

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So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
Male body shame and aggression against women (“rape proclivity”........ Read more »

Ifcher, J., & Zarghamee, H. (2014) Affect and overconfidence: A laboratory investigation. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 7(3), 125-150. DOI: 10.1037/npe0000022  

  • October 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 90 views

Is that eye witness lying? Let’s just check those P300 brain waves…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written before about the inaccuracy of eye witness testimony despite the familiarity of the saying, “I know what I saw!”. But here is newly published research purporting to have been “able to discriminate perfectly between 12 knowledgeable subjects who viewed stimuli related to their activities and 12 non-knowledgeable subjects who viewed only irrelevant items”. […]

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“That witness is lying and I can prove it”
Brain Porn? That is so 2008. Neuro-skepticism........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 142 views

So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We can hear the snickers and gasps now–and likely the immediate objection from (probably) the opposing counsel or (unquestionably) the judge. But not always. So why might this be something you want to know? According to new research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a distinguishing characteristic of narcissists is that they watch […]

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An update on online research of potential jurors
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Excuse me, potential ........ Read more »

Kasper TE, Short MB, & Milam AC. (2014) Narcissism and Internet Pornography Use. Journal of Sex , 1-6. PMID: 24918657  

  • October 20, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 173 views

Morality in everyday life for the religious and the nonreligious

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The researchers recruited a sample of 1,252 adults ranging in age from 18 to 68 years of age who reside in the US and Canada. Each participant completed measures of religiosity and political ideation prior to participation in the actual study. All participants had smartphones and were randomly signaled on their phone for 3 days […]

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Should I choose the creative juror, the introvert/extravert, or the religious juror?
“Everyday liars” and “Prolific liarsR........ Read more »

Hofmann W, Wisneski DC, Brandt MJ, & Skitka LJ. (2014) Morality in everyday life. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6202), 1340-3. PMID: 25214626  

  • October 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 184 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 […]

Related posts:
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
  • 191 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
  • 189 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 […]

Related posts:
“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 »

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