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  • August 22, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Power, Penises and the Role of the Presiding Juror

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

So it happened again. We do a lot of pre-trial research and observe a lot of both mock jurors and the dynamics related to presiding jurors.  This past weekend, we re-experienced the frustration of how bad it can be when you get a controlling and dominant presiding juror.  In a real jury, a dominant presiding [...]

Related posts:Deliberations & the role of the presiding juror
Educating Jurors: How NOT to start deliberations
Mistrials due to lawyers making faces, internet misconduct &........ Read more »

Koenig AM, Eagly AH, Mitchell AA, & Ristikari T. (2011) Are leader stereotypes masculine? A meta-analysis of three research paradigms. Psychological Bulletin, 137(4), 616-42. PMID: 21639606  

  • August 20, 2011
  • 05:37 PM

If religion makes you happy, why are people turning away from it?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Every now and then a study comes along that cuts with laser-like precision into one or two of the murky questions that haunt the sociology of religion. Just such a study has recently been done by Ed Diener, at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and colleagues (earlier this year Diener published another great study on happiness and inequality in the USA).

What Diener et al wanted to know is simply this: why, if religion is supposed to make you happy, are people in the West leaving........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2011
  • 01:34 PM

Chinese Religion: Worship Thy Parents

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

There are many ways in which China remains a cipher for Westerners, most of whom labor under the misapprehension that “modern civilization” originated in ancient Greece and spread slowly outward, eventually reaching “backwards” China and even then only in attenuated fashion. This of course ignores parallel and in some ways more spectacular developments in Neolithic [...]... Read more »

Holzman, D. (1998) The Place of Filial Piety in Ancient China. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 118(2), 185. DOI: 10.2307/605890  

Underhill, A. (1997) Current issues in Chinese Neolithic archaeology. Journal of World Prehistory, 11(2), 103-160. DOI: 10.1007/BF02221203  

  • August 19, 2011
  • 07:58 AM

The curious case of the reversed pronoun

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

“You made a circle”, exclaimed Ethan proudly as he looked up from his drawing. “You did make a circle”, his mum acknowledged, ignoring the fact that, not for the first time, Ethan had reversed the pronoun, saying “you” when he should have said “I”. Ethan was one of six children from Providence, Rhode Island taking part in a study of child language development. Every couple of weeks, a researcher from Brown University would visit him and his mum at home, record, and then transcrib........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Be concrete and be seen as truthful

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s really about avoiding ‘lawyerese’. That sort of language makes you sound fancy but fails to make you likeable or helpful to jurors hearing your case. And that’s really what you want. Sometimes clients will marvel that we are able to extract so much information from focus group participants, and they ask us why we [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Stand up straight but avoid gesturing with your hands in front of the jury!
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t confuse argument w........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Breaking news: Student drinkers can’t tell how drunk they are.

by Caspar Addyman in Your Brain on Drugs

Okay, so that is hardly news. But it may surprise you to find that researchers are still discovering new ways in which alcohol makes us stupid. What’s more they’ve found your vodka Red Bull or Irish Coffee more dangerous than you think.... Read more »

  • August 18, 2011
  • 11:26 AM

Take it from Mitt Romney: Corporations Are People Too (Even When They're on Trial)

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

Speaking just before the Ames Straw poll on Republican Presidential contenders, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney faced a heckler. As the unruly crowd member shouted out that taxes should come from corporations, the candidate answered, "corporations are people, my friend." The gaffe-watchers on all sides and in the media immediately pounced, and the statement is now viewed as a flub that might dog a candidate who risks being viewed as a starched-shirt businessman out of touch with work........ Read more »

Mike Owen Benediktsson. (2010) The Deviant Organization and the Bad Apple CEO: Ideology and Accountability in Media Coverage of Corporate Scandals . Social Forces, 88(5). info:/

  • August 17, 2011
  • 03:46 PM

Hunter-gatherer populations show humans are hardwired for density

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

This post originally appeared on Scientific American’s Guest Blog. High density living seems like a particularly modern phenomenon. After all, the first subway didn’t run until 1863 and the first skyscraper wasn’t built until 1885. While cities have existed for thousands of years—some with population densities that rival today’s major metropolises—most of humanity has lived [...]... Read more »

Hamilton, M., Milne, B., Walker, R., & Brown, J. (2007) Nonlinear scaling of space use in human hunter-gatherers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(11), 4765-4769. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0611197104  

  • August 17, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Can reading a story make you a vampire?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Apparently, the answer is yes. And it can also make you a wizard. The key (according to this research) is in what you are reading. We’ve talked about the power of stories (told well) to transport the listener. This goes beyond transporting listeners into something that is frankly strange. Researchers looked at the narrative-collective-assimilation hypothesis.  [I [...]

Related posts:You’re not too old for a story (but you might be too young!)
Voir Dire Tip: Are you ‘transported’ by a........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2011
  • 06:04 AM

Universal needs?

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

What are the fundamental human needs? What things, if we get them, will make us happy human beings? Are there such things as universal human needs, that everyone in every society would identify with, or does it depend on your personality and cultural background? In an earlier post on Maslow’s classic hierarchy of needs, I mentioned [...]... Read more »

Tay, L., & Diener, E. (2011) Needs and subjective well-being around the world. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(2), 354-365. DOI: 10.1037/a0023779  

  • August 16, 2011
  • 04:52 PM

MBA – Major Bad Ass?

by Jan Husdal in

Are business schools bad for business? Are they to blame for the demise in good management practices because they have become obsessed with teaching maximizing shareholder value at the expense of everything else? Perhaps they are. If so, is there a way out? [ ... ]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2011
  • 04:15 PM

Religious differences and murder

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Most research into religion looks at how it influences attitudes towards co-religionists. But the flip side to religion is that it can also serve as a foundation for social divisions, in a similar way to ethnic and language barriers.

You might think this could increase social tensions, but new research by Don Soo Chon, at Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama, suggests that this may not be the case. He looked at how the level of ethnic, linguistic, and religious fragmentation relates to hom........ Read more »

  • August 16, 2011
  • 10:44 AM

Women, romantic goals and science: The evidence just isn’t there

by Marie-Claire Shanahan in Boundary Vision

A critical examination of recent study suggesting that the pursuit of romantic goals hampers women's efforts in science... Read more »

  • August 16, 2011
  • 08:10 AM

Free language choice?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Pretty much everyone I know wants to learn English or improve their English – with the exception of those who consider themselves native speakers, obviously. What is more, everyone I know knows that everyone else wants to learn English (the … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 15, 2011
  • 12:48 PM

Are the Rich Really Rude? What Science Actually Says

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

In a previous post I wrote about how cool it can be for one's research to be picked up by the national media. Last week I was lucky enough to have this happen here, here, and here. The article described in the news is based on a program of research that Professor Dacher Keltner and I started about 7-8 years ago. The goal of our research was to study social class-- that is, the collection of social and material conditions of life that rank us in American society relative to others. ........ Read more »

Kraus, M. W., Piff, P. K., & Keltner, D. (2011) Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(4), 246-250. info:/10.1177/0963721411414654

  • August 15, 2011
  • 08:14 AM

More people, more ideas – in the long run

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

More people means more ideas. This concept underlies arguments ranging from Julian Simon’s belief that human living conditions will continue to improve through to Bryan Caplan’s argument that we should have more kids. While I don’t always take this concept to the extent of Simon or Caplan (as I have posted on before), the concept [...]... Read more »

  • August 15, 2011
  • 03:22 AM

A Ghostwriter Speaks

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

PLoS ONE offers the confessions of a former medical ghostwriter: Being the Ghost in the Machine.

The article (which is open access and short, so well worth a read) explains how Linda Logdberg became a medical writer; what excited her about the job; what she actually did; and what made her eventually give it up.

Ghostwriting of course has a bad press at the moment and it's recently been banned by some leading research centres. Ghostwriting certainly is concerning, because of what it implies ab........ Read more »

  • August 15, 2011
  • 12:13 AM

Scent of a Woman

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

At seventeen I discovered the perfume that would become my signature scent. It’s a warm, rich, inviting fragrance[i] that reminds me (and hopefully others) of a rose garden in full bloom. Despite this fullness, it’s light enough to wear all day and it’s been in the background of many of my life experiences. It announces [...]

... Read more »

  • August 14, 2011
  • 10:46 PM

Kim's the name

by Vivek Venkataraman in sciencebyte

Statistical study of the distribution of Korean family names... Read more »

Baek, S., Minnhagen, P., & Kim, B. (2011) The ten thousand Kims. New Journal of Physics, 13(7), 73036. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/13/7/073036  

  • August 14, 2011
  • 05:50 PM

The Wikipedia Gender Gap, Part III

by Hadas Shema in Information Culture

In part I and part II, we discussed several of the gender gaps in Wikipedia. In this part, we'll talk about reverted edits, blocking, and their association with female and male editors. .
Blocking The hypothesis here was that "Female editors are less likely to be blocked." However, there wasn't a statistically significant difference in the percentage of females blocked (4.39%) and males blocked (4.52%). Surprisingly, females were significantly more likely to be blocked indefinitely (3.85% and 3........ 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:/

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