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
289 posts

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  • April 29, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 84 views

Phubbing, more FOMO, blonde jokes, and what holds our  attention?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s time to run down some articles that are curious, but not substantial enough to justify a full blog post. Once again, we have kept a few pearls in our virtual filing cabinet, and have combined them here for your curiosity and possibly entertainment. This is one of those combination posts that will offer you […]

Related posts:
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale
Red, redux: Men won’t pay attention to Tammy in red
Does this mean we need to pay no attention to 1 in  10 research f........ Read more »

  • April 27, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 21 views

A cure for the know-it-all: “Reflecting on explanatory ability” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us think we know more than we actually do and sometimes, that sense is taken to an extreme that can be annoying (as well as inaccurate). Two years ago, we wrote about a study on modulating political extremism and mentioned the recommended strategy was similar to one we use to topple self-appointed “experts” […]

Related posts:
Uncommon Wisdom: Lessons from Patent and IP  Mock Jurors
So can you explain how that works in your own words?
Guilt-proneness and the ability to recog........ Read more »

  • April 25, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 109 views

“Creepiness”: You know it when you see it! 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You know what ‘creepy’ is and in the movie The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins personified creepiness. While it may be hard to believe, no one has ever “pinned down” what makes a person creepy. Since there must be a need for such information, enter academic Francis McAndrew of Knox University (in Galesburg, Illinois), […]

Related posts:
Who among the British people is 100% heterosexual? 
Don’t confuse me with your ethnicity!
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a........ Read more »

McAndrew, F., & Koehnke, S. (2016) On the nature of creepiness. New Ideas in Psychology,, 10-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2016.03.003  

  • April 22, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 84 views

Listen to that man! He is attractive and likely high in status

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If a man is a good storyteller, we tend to see him as more attractive and as having higher status. That is, if we are looking for a long-term relationship partner. Unfortunately, it does not work for women storytellers with male audiences nor for those looking for a short-term relationship. This is the first series […]

Related posts:
How I assess your status (or lack thereof) at a glance
When you wear glasses you are less attractive but more smart and trustworthy
Will Mozart or Metallic........ Read more »

  • April 20, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 34 views

Eureka! Epiphanies and aha! moments: Trust them  

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

When I was younger, I would have moments of clarity I referred to as epiphanies. I learned pretty quickly that if I did not somehow reinforce that epiphany in my mind, I would forget it—only to (sometimes) realize it again at some point in the future. So now, when I am working on a project […]

Related posts:
Never trust a man with a wide face
The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!


... Read more »

  • April 18, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 121 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 […]

Related posts:
“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
  • 102 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 […]

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

  • April 13, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 43 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
  • 206 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  

  • March 28, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 173 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 […]

Related posts:
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
  • 215 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
  • 157 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 […]

Related posts:
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
  • 263 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 […]

Related posts:
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
  • 232 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 […]

Related posts:
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
  • 169 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
  • 268 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 […]

Related posts:
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 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 262 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 […]

Related posts:
“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
  • 299 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
  • 334 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
  • 334 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 »

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