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  • August 10, 2011
  • 03:31 PM

Beware of Jurors Who Feel Downgraded

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - With Standard & Poor's recent decision to deny the U.S. a AAA credit rating, many Americans are feeling a little downgraded about now. For most of us, I can hope, that is a temporary feeling. But for others, especially in these economic times, it is a more constant aspect of their lives. These Americans, including increasingly those who show up for jury duty, are what the researchers call "status inconsistent." They may be higher in social prestige than in economic me........ Read more »

Michael W. Kraus, Paul K. Piff, Dacher Keltner. (2011) Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm . Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4). info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

The eyes of [not just] Texas are upon you…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

As trial consultants based in Austin, Texas (one a graduate of UT Austin and the other a long-time staff member there) we often hear the UT athletic song ‘The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You’.  The melody is easy and friendly (everyone else knows it as “I’ve been working on a railroad”). The lyrics are [...]

Related posts:We pray with closed eyes
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
Patent litigation and wonder in East Texas
... Read more »

Bourrat, P., Baumard, N., & McKay, R. (2011) Surveillance cues enhance moral condemnation. . Evolutionary Psychology, 9(2), 193-199. info:/

  • August 10, 2011
  • 06:22 AM

The spread of disorder – a repost in wake of London’s riot cleanup

by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science

Yesterday, I watched as hundreds of Londoners took to the streets in a heroic attempt to clean up the mess caused by rioters and looters the night before. Looking at pictures of large crowds getting off trains with cleaning equipment in hand and marching down streets with brooms held aloft, I’ve rarely felt so proud of my city.
The clean-up operation was a great move – a positive note in an otherwise depressing week and a chance for a beleagured capital to come together and reclaim i........ Read more »

Keizer, K., Lindenberg, S., & Steg, L. (2008) The Spreading of Disorder. Science, 322(5908), 1681-1685. DOI: 10.1126/science.1161405  

  • August 10, 2011
  • 03:17 AM

The Wikipedia Gender Gap, Part II

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In part I we talked about the small percentage of female editors in Wikipedia and their shorter editing life span. In this part we'll talk about content areas female and male editor focus on, coverage of female and male-related topics and involvement in editing controversial entries.
Content areas The authors divided the data from the January 2008 data dump into 8 main areas: Arts, Geography, Health, History, Science, People, Philosophy and Religion. Then, they checked the focus areas of each ed........ Read more »

Lam, S., Uduwage, A., Dong, Z., Sen, S., Musicant, D. R., Terveen, L., & Terveen, J. (2011) WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance. WikiSym’11, October 3–5, Mountain View, California. info:/

  • August 9, 2011
  • 10:26 AM

The Science of Rioting – Is there a reason for the Violence? Is there a Solution?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

The streets of major British cities descended into chaos last night. Again. Angry stick-weilding, BMX-riding hooded teenagers went on the rampage. Breaking, burning and looting for no apparent reason – the police largely impotent to halt to the anarchy. It’s been a long time since the UK has seen anything like this. Just what triggered … Continue reading »... Read more »

Reicher, S., Stott, C., Drury, J., Adang, O., Cronin, P., & Livingstone, A. (2007) Knowledge-Based Public Order Policing: Principles and Practice. Policing, 1(4), 403-415. DOI: 10.1093/police/pam067  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 11:57 AM

When You Press the Negotiations, Pause the Persuasion

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Litigators like to see themselves as silver-tongued persuaders, but in an age in which fewer than one in fifty suits are resolved in trial, they may find that the negotiation skills of Donald Trump come to matter more than the rhetorical skills of F. Lee Bailey. And research is increasingly pointing to the fact that in a negotiations setting, many common intuitions about persuasion may not apply. For example, a study reported in this month's Journal of Personality and Soc........ Read more »

Maaravi Y, Ganzach Y, & Pazy A. (2011) Negotiation as a form of persuasion: Arguments in first offers. Journal of personality and social psychology, 101(2), 245-55. PMID: 21500924  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 10:22 AM

To Dyslexics, English Sounds like a Foreign Language

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

How well can you identify other people's voices? Most of us are good at recognizing a familiar speaker we can't see. This skill works best, though, in our native tongue. And to the ears of a dyslexic person, everyone else may as well be speaking Chinese.Dyslexia is usually described as a reading disorder. In school, a dyslexic kid will struggle to recognize words and parse sentences. She (or more often, according to some studies, he) might have assignments read aloud or receive prewritten class ........ Read more »

Perrachione, T., Del Tufo, S., & Gabrieli, J. (2011) Human Voice Recognition Depends on Language Ability. Science, 333(6042), 595-595. DOI: 10.1126/science.1207327  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 07:57 AM

So Apparantly I'm Bipolar

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to a new paper, yours truly is bipolar.

I've written before of my experience of depression, and the fact that I take antidepressants, but I've never been diagnosed with bipolar.

I've taken a few drugs in my time. On certain dopamine-based drugs I got euphoric, filled with energy, talkative, confident, with no need for sleep, and a boundless desire to do stuff, which is textbook hypomania. So I think I know what it feels like, and I can confidently say that it has never happened to m........ Read more »

  • August 8, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Detecting Deception: Be still my eyebrows!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a study we found at Science Daily and thought was a useful addition to our ongoing exploration of how to identify deception. While eyebrows have been found not useful in identifying Mormon faces, apparently they are useful in identifying deception. As it turns out, it is harder for liars to control the upper part of their [...]

Related posts:Detecting Deception Using the Law of Sufficient Motivation
Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
Outsmarting liars (five decades of r........ Read more »

Carolyn M. Hurley, & Mark G. Frank. (2011) Executing Facial Control During Deception Situations. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 35(2). info:/

  • August 7, 2011
  • 11:25 PM

The Wikipedia Gender Gap, Part I

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

Wikipedia editing is a men's club. We already talked here about the lack of Wikipedia female editors (barely 13% of the editors are women). However, that survey was self-selecting and most of the participants (75%) used Wikipedia in non-English languages. Now, Lam et al. (2011) present their analysis of the gender imbalance in English Wikipedia. They took most of their data out of the January 2011 data dump, as well as from the Wikipedia API and the January 2008 and 2010 data dumps.In Wikipedia,........ Read more »

Lam, S., Uduwage, A., Dong, Z., Sen, S., Musicant, D. R., Terveen, L., & Terveen, J. (2011) WP:Clubhouse? An Exploration of Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance. WikiSym’11, October 3–5, Mountain View, California. info:/

  • August 7, 2011
  • 05:05 PM

Do the rich use religion to keep the poor in their place?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

In the previous post, I took a look at the fairly substantial weight of evidence linking religion to inequality, specifically income inequality, with religion. The most unequal countries also tend to be the most religious, even when you take into account a variety of other factors.

Why should this be? There are a number of theories. One is that unequal societies also tend to have a lot of other problems, and the stresses that these cause may turn people to religion.

Frederick Solt and colleagu........ Read more »

Solt, F., Habel, P., & Grant, J. (2011) Economic Inequality, Relative Power, and Religiosity*. Social Science Quarterly, 92(2), 447-465. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2011.00777.x  

  • August 6, 2011
  • 06:42 AM

Cultural Evolution and the Impending Singularity: The Movie

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

A video of a talk I gave at the Santa Fe Institute, asking questions like "Has Biological Evolution come to an end?", "Is belief an emergent property?", "Will advanced computers use humans as batteries?" and "Will robots spend more time playing the violin than solving science?"... Read more »

Sperl, M., Chang, A., Weber, N., & Hübler, A. (1999) Hebbian learning in the agglomeration of conducting particles. Physical Review E, 59(3), 3165-3168. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.59.3165  

Chater N, & Christiansen MH. (2010) Language acquisition meets language evolution. Cognitive science, 34(7), 1131-57. PMID: 21564247  

Ay N, Flack J, & Krakauer DC. (2007) Robustness and complexity co-constructed in multimodal signalling networks. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 362(1479), 441-7. PMID: 17255020  

Guttal V, & Couzin ID. (2010) Social interactions, information use, and the evolution of collective migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(37), 16172-7. PMID: 20713700  

  • August 5, 2011
  • 01:36 PM

The curious relationship between place names and population density

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Giving a name to a place is an important act. It says a place has meaning, that it should be remembered. For thousands of years, the way we kept track of place names—or toponyms—was by using our memory. Today, we’re not nearly so limited, and the number of toponyms seems to have exploded. Yet oddly [...]... Read more »

  • August 5, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Let me tell you a story…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Everyone loves to hear a good story.  And if you are reading our blog, you probably love to tell stories, too.  A good story is essential to effective communication and persuasion, and that sort of defines our wheel-house.  But I digress…  Sometimes stories are traditional “once upon a time” sorts of tales, but more often [...]

Related posts:Voir Dire Tip: Are you ‘transported’ by a good story?
The story of the numbers behind the story
You’re not too old for a story (but you mi........ Read more »

  • August 5, 2011
  • 02:27 AM

Friday Fun: At the Movies (with a Psychologist)

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Because Juli's psychology songs post was so much fun, I thought I'd try something new this Friday. In what follows, I will provide a very brief summary of the plot, or a specific scene, from a movie. After this description, I will then discuss a key psychological construct that the movie's theme relates to.

It's a simple game, so let's get started. There are spoilers, so read on with caution.

Read More->... Read more »

Haslam, N., Rothschild, L., & Ernst, D. (2000) Essentialist beliefs about social categories. British Journal of Social Psychology, 39(1), 113-127. DOI: 10.1348/014466600164363  

  • August 4, 2011
  • 11:39 AM

Get the Gist of How Jurors Decide Damage Numbers

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - "Well...let me just throw a number out to get us rolling: Five million dollars!" (Recent mock juror quote) Juror damage awards can seem erratic and inexplicable, not only to the public, but to experienced litigators as well. Particularly when jurors are valuing something other than a concrete expense by assessing non-economic or punitive damages, the process can seem driven by nothing more than caprice. One effect of mock trial research -- namely, the ability to watch jur........ Read more »

Valerie P. Hans and Valerie F. Reyna. (2011) To Dollars from Sense: Qualitative to Quantitative Translation in Jury Damage Awards . Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper, 11(25). info:/

  • August 3, 2011
  • 04:49 PM

Well that settles it: income inequality really does go hand in hand with religion

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Long-time readers of this blog will know that the link between inequality and religion has a particular fascination for me. In fact, the blog started while I was doing background research into a paper I wrote in 2009, on the link between income inequality and religion in countries around the world.

The idea was first put forward in rough form in an earlier book by Pippa Norris and Ronald Ingelhart. My paper took that a modest step further, by showing that income inequality really did seem to be........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2011
  • 03:48 PM

Antipsychotics - The New Valium?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Antipsychotics, originally designed to control the hallucinations and delusions seen in schizophrenia, have been expanding their domain in recent years. Nowadays, they're widely used in bipolar disorder, depression, and as a new paper reveals, increasingly in anxiety disorders as well.The authors, Comer et al, looked at the NAMCS survey, which provides yearly data on the use of medications in visits to office-based doctors across the USA.Back in 1996, just 10% of visits in which an anxiety diso........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2011
  • 01:56 PM

Hunting Pathogens in Siberian Permafrost Graves

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

The Yakut community of Eastern Siberia has gained some attention from anthropologists because it culturally stands out from other Siberian populations. Their Turkic language, unique burial practices, and horse-breeding culture is not native to Siberia. Recent genetic analysis of 58 bodies preserved in permafrost from the last five centuries and 166 current members of the [...]... Read more »

Crubézy E, Amory S, Keyser C, Bouakaze C, Bodner M, Gibert M, Röck A, Parson W, Alexeev A, & Ludes B. (2010) Human evolution in Siberia: from frozen bodies to ancient DNA. BMC evolutionary biology, 25. PMID: 20100333  

  • August 3, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

I’m disgusted (until I wash my hands and feel purified)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s not just Pontius Pilate and Lady MacBeth, all of us feel better with clean hands. The disgust literature is everywhere these days. As it turns out, disgust is a powerful emotional motivator. Researchers recently attempted to see if being even minimally involved in activities that brought participants into contact with religious beliefs different from their own [...]

Related posts:Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Eww! That is just disgusting! (but…very interest........ Read more »

Ritter, RS, & Preston, JL. (2011) Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

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