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402 posts · 261,980 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
201 posts

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  • April 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 47 views

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t […]

Related posts:
Should you ask your overweight female client to diet before trial?
Black? On trial in Florida? You don’t want an all-white jury!
Predic........ Read more »

Racine A, Cuerq A, Bijon A, Ricordeau P, Weill A, Allemand H, Chosidow O, Boutron-Ruault MC, & Carbonnel F. (2014) Isotretinoin and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a French nationwide study. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 109(4), 563-9. PMID: 24535094  

  • April 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 61 views

A new neurolaw caveat to minimize punishment

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was […]

Related posts:
Neurolaw Update: Who’s in charge here—me or my brain?
When identifying punishment—will jurors focus on intent or outcome?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Anger + Disgust........ Read more »

  • April 11, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 67 views

Smiling and credibility: Is it different for male and female witnesses at trial?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Women smile more than men. Men are typically seen as more credible than women. So these researchers decided to see if there was a relationship between smiling and assessments of credibility on actual witnesses in the courtroom.  The researchers used the Witness Credibility Scale to assess actual witnesses overall credibility. They thought that if smiling […]

Related posts:
Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly
Which is the more moral negotiator? The male or the femal........ Read more »

  • April 9, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 60 views

Too trusting? You are likely also cursed with intelligence and good judgment!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We often associate people who are especially trusting with gullibility, low self-esteem, and lower intellectual function. However, we seem to have it backwards according to new research (which successfully replicates the results of studies from 2010 and 2012).  Intelligent people are more likely to trust others while those lower in intelligence are less likely to […]

Related posts:
How ‘myside bias’ is related to your intelligence
“Just about always” and “Never” responses to ........ Read more »

  • April 7, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 72 views

Just because I think they’re out to get me doesn’t mean they aren’t

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Not long ago we blogged about the reality that half of Americans believe in at least one public health conspiracy. The same researchers have now looked into other conspiracy theories and found similar trends: half of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory. So. Let’s take a look at what the researchers say about the sort […]

Related posts:
Osama bin Laden is dead and (simultaneously) Osama bin Laden lives!
Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!
Conspiracy........ Read more »

  • April 4, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 97 views

The better than average effect is even true in prison!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You remember the better than average effect. It’s what makes us evaluate ourselves as better than others. I’m a better driver than the average driver. I’m a better swimmer than other non-competitive swimmers. Or even, I’m a better citizen than those who, unlike me, are not in prison. Yes. “I’m in jail. They are not. […]

Related posts:
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity effect
Is it true that older jurors are more likely to convict?
The “hoodie effect̶........ Read more »

  • April 2, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 73 views

Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Female attorneys know they a special challenge to being accepted as authoritative, just because they are women. Looks like things are about the same for expert witnesses who are women. A new literature review just published by Tess M.S. Neal in Behavioral Sciences and the Law offers a succinct picture of what the research has […]

Related posts:
Expert witnesses on what causes bias in other expert witnesses
We don’t need no stinkin’ plates (or expert witnesses)
What expert witnesses sh........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 48 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “It makes no difference to me but I’m sure it would to a lot of other people.”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The study of bias fascinates us. We can easily spot prejudice in others but are oblivious to our own biases. We often ask a question at the end of a research project about community values and whether our (uniformly unbiased and considerate) mock jurors think others in the area would be biased against a party […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Oooh! Seeing that makes me so angry!!!
Simple Jury Persuasion: Font Choice and Bias
Simple Jury Persuasion: Activate the ‘intuitive prose........ Read more »

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

Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Amazingly, a study published in a highly respected medical journal (as opposed to, say, a Bigfoot site) found that 49% of those living in the United States believe at least one medical conspiracy theory. That’s only where it starts–18% believe in three or more. Wow.  The researchers wondered if US residents believe the public health […]

Related posts:
Conspiracy theorists and survey design
Conspiracy theories that haven’t come up in pretrial research (yet)
Osama bin Laden is de........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 108 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Women can keep the vote after all…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You may recall the story posted on CNN in late 2012 about how women vote differently based on hormonal fluctuations. Unfortunately, because of how our brains work (and our attraction to outrageous stories, true or not), you may not recall that CNN removed the story in 7 hours due to internet backlash over an article […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Can walking to the jury room make jurors forget your evidence?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Channel James Earl Jones
Simple Jury Persuasi........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 105 views

Shocking research: Generational stereotypes don’t make sense on the job

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about this a lot both here on the blog and over at The Jury Expert. So it isn’t news to us, but evidently it continues to surprise experts in other fields. Business journals are still urging differing management strategies for members of different generations in the workplace. But, as in other research, today’s […]

Related posts:
Stereotypes happen all the time if you are neither pale nor male
Who knew we’d be such grumpy (but NOT old!) men and women?
The Millenn........ Read more »

Becton, J., Walker, H., & Jones-Farmer, A. (2014) Generational differences in workplace behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(3), 175-189. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12208  

  • March 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 87 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Action aversion versus outcome aversion

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Today’s post focuses on ideas that will be familiar to many of you but the terms themselves will probably seem foreign. The research is about the role of emotion in our  decisions about moral issues. Essentially, the research looks at emotional pathways to moral condemnation. What motivates our reaction to tragic injury? Is it about […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Being “right” versus being persuasive
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make an emotional connection with your jury
Si........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 69 views

Do we want convicted felons to express guilt and shame, or no?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Almost three years ago, we blogged about what we called the Scott Peterson Effect – citing a 2001 literature review of 45 years of research on remorse in capital murder defendants. Now, we have new article on the role of shame and guilt in predicting recidivism. To these researchers, the difference between shame and guilt is critical, […]

Related posts:
Should you want guilt-prone leaders for that jury?
Does priming influence behavior of even the “bad boys”?
Ask the judge for ........ Read more »

  • March 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 104 views

Binge-watching House of Cards, cheating, and creativity

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I did not intend to binge watch the newly-released second season of House of Cards. But once I saw the first episode, I could not stop and watched the entire season over the next 4 days. As a fellow fan, I understood Barack Obama’s tweet about the show Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.   and […]

Related posts:
Creativity in others makes us uncertain and anxious
How can cheating be wrong when it feels so right?
Keep your eye on this one: A Depravity Scale


... Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 135 views

Does cyber stalking really harm anyone?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us realize that real life stalking is a serious issue and very frightening to the victim, whether male or female and whether young or old. But what about cyber stalking? While research on real life stalking has grown over the past two decades, actual research on cyber stalking is sparse–despite ever-increasing depictions on […]

Related posts:
Are female stalkers less likely to be violent than male stalkers?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Who cares........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 154 views

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or White?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about the role of non-belief or of strong religious beliefs on juries and juror decision-making. The majority of research, largely based on White participants, has shown repeatedly that for White Christians, if you are an non-believer (e.g., an Atheist or a Muslim), you will be looked on less favorably […]

Related posts:
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
He........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 152 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “tainted altruism effect”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

People will actually see you more positively when you raise no money for charity at all than they will when you raise $1,000,000 (but skim $100,000 for yourself). Even if you said you were going to keep 10% up front and the charity really did get the $900,000! When you benefit (in any way) from […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Using counter-factual thinking to your advantage
Simple Jury Persuasion: Use pre-factual thinking to your advantage in litigation
Simple Jury Persuasion: ........ Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 134 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The weaker the evidence, the more precise you become

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When your evidence is weak, how can you be more persuasive? Precision. Observers want to see certain things to have confidence in what you are saying. The more precise you are, the more likely the observer is to see you as knowledgeable and accurate (even when negotiating for salary!). So what does the observer look […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Can walking to the jury room make jurors forget your evidence?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Hearsay evidence & the expert witness
Si........ Read more »

Jerez-Fernandez A, Angulo AN, & Oppenheimer DM. (2014) Show me the numbers: precision as a cue to others' confidence. Psychological Science, 25(2), 633-5. PMID: 24317423  

  • February 17, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 169 views

Your online avatar and your real-world behavior

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Last fall we wrote about how having a dark-skinned avatar in an immersive virtual reality experience can reduce your implicit bias against dark-skinned people. Now Illinois researchers show us that the avatar assigned in online gaming also influences behavior. How? If you are assigned to be a hero, you do good. If you are assigned […]

Related posts:
“Spend some time in my skin”
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’t the HBO show!
Should you try online jury research?


... Read more »

  • February 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 141 views

Racist roads not taken and prejudice-based aggression

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

About a year ago we wrote about people making up “racist roads not taken” in the past to excuse biased or racist behavior in the moment. Racist behavior or decisions in the moment were excused because “back then I had the chance to behave in a racist way but did not, so it’s okay for […]

Related posts:
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
Is there a relationship between age and ethnic prejudice?
Politics and prejudice? Nope. It’s about ideo........ Read more »

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