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  • June 13, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 668 views

Maladaptive daydreaming: The next legal defense theory? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Remember Walter Mitty? He was a fictional character who escaped his dull day-to-day existence by constructing elaborate daydreams wherein he was the hero rather than a wallflower. Well, apparently Walter was not so unusual. There are people who spend as much as 60% of their time lost in daydreams. These are people who realize their […]

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Can you trust the results of forensic evaluations on legal sanity?
Legal decisions that tick jurors off
Will your genetic defense for that........ Read more »

  • June 1, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 575 views

The Earned Dogmatism Effect: “Oh, I know [all about] this already…” 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written a lot about other kinds of self-appointed experts on your jury (and how to dethrone them) but today’s work is a reflection of another aspect of perceived expert status. When you think you already know a lot about something, you can become closed-minded. You finish the testimony before the witness does. A closed […]

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Propaganda, Dogmatism & Bias: Who are your jurors?
The “hoodie effect”: A domestic variant of the turban effect
Shooting the........ Read more »

  • May 30, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 491 views

I’m sorry: Six elements to make your apology optimal 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The phrase “I’m sorry” always reminds me of then 15-year-old Brenda Lee and her hit single. (That is, in psychology circles, called a tangential aside.) We haven’t written about apology here for a while now and a new study has just published that lists six elements to make your apology optimal. This post is to […]

Related posts:
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it wrong)
A carefully crafted apology doesn’t mean we think you are sincere
“There will be no apology from ........ Read more »

Lewicki, R., Polin, B., & Lount, R. (2016) An Exploration of the Structure of Effective Apologies. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 9(2), 177-196. DOI: 10.1111/ncmr.12073  

  • May 26, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 382 views

Inattention, nose shapes, sexism and climate change 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We often do these combination posts when we do not want to devote an entire post to a single article but think the information is worth sharing (or simply too odd not to share). So read on and be a scintillating (or perhaps simply odd) conversationalist. Smartphone alerts increase both inattention and hyperactivity This is […]

Related posts:
What do (13,000) Americans really think about  climate change?
Talking about climate change without  knee-jerk responses from listeners
Eyewitnes........ Read more »

  • May 23, 2016
  • 07:55 AM
  • 469 views

Positive Stereotypes Are Pervasive and Powerful

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

Pop quiz: hands up — how many of you think positive stereotypes are OK? I suspect that for many of you, your first reaction may have been, “well, yeah, they’re positive, right?” I can totally empathize with that shortcut, but … Continue reading →... Read more »

Czopp, A., Kay, A., & Cheryan, S. (2015) Positive Stereotypes Are Pervasive and Powerful. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(4), 451-463. DOI: 10.1177/1745691615588091  

  • May 22, 2016
  • 11:07 AM
  • 729 views

Robert Epstein’s empty essay

by Sergio Graziosi in Writing my own user manual - Sergio Graziosi's Blog

Sometimes reading a flawed argument triggers my rage, I really do get angry, a phenomenon that invariably surprises and amuses me. What follows is my attempt to use my anger in a constructive way, it may include elements of a…Read more ›... Read more »

  • May 4, 2016
  • 09:13 AM
  • 780 views

Imagine These Experiments in Aphantasia

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

When you hear the word “apple”, do you picture a Red Delicious apple or a green Granny Smith? Or neither, because you can't conjure up a visual image of an apple (or of anything else, for that matter)? Aphantasia is the inability to generate visual images, which can be a congenital condition or acquired after brain injury (Farah, 1984). The most striking aspect of this variation in mental life is that those of us with imagery assume that everyone else has it, while those without are flabberg........ Read more »

  • April 29, 2016
  • 11:32 AM
  • 640 views

Cuckoldary is rare in humans!

by Farid Pazhoohi in Epistemophil

Human behavioral scientists argue that extra-pair copulation is adaptive in human females, as through extra-pair copulation, women can acquire good genes from other potential mates. This is suggested because it is found that women experience greater sexual attraction to particular extra-pair men, but not their own partners, during their highest peak of fertility (Gangestad & […]... Read more »

Gangestad, S., & Thornhill, R. (2008) Human oestrus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1638), 991-1000. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2007.1425  

Larmuseau MH, Matthijs K, & Wenseleers T. (2016) Cuckolded Fathers Rare in Human Populations. Trends in ecology , 31(5), 327-9. PMID: 27107336  

  • April 14, 2016
  • 07:52 AM
  • 807 views

10 things I learned while working for the Dutch science funding council (NWO)

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

  The way science is currently funded is very controversial. During the last 6 months I was on a break from my PhD and worked for the organisation funding science in the Netherlands (NWO). These are 10 insights I gained. 1) Belangenverstrengeling This is the first word I learned when arriving in The Hague. There is […]... Read more »

  • April 6, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 850 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 […]

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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 29, 2016
  • 10:01 AM
  • 1,224 views

Nostalgia is a Muse

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

This view has been challenged by the University of Southampton researchers Constantine Sedikides and Tim Wildschut, who have spent the past decade studying the benefits of nostalgia. Not only do they disavow its disease status, they have conducted numerous studies which suggest that nostalgia can make us more creative, open-minded and charitable. The definition of nostalgia used by Sedikides and Wildschut as a "sentimental longing for one's past" is based on the contemporary usage........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 699 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 […]

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Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 
What’s that book you’re reading as you wait to be impane........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 566 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 […]

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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 17, 2016
  • 09:41 PM
  • 817 views

Dogmatic atheism and fundamentalist Christianity: creating certainty in an uncertain world

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Evidence is building up that, because religion helps people to deal with uncertainties of life, it’s particularly attractive to the kind of people who have a hard time dealing with uncertainty. But what about atheists? Some atheists seem rather fixed and absolutist in their beliefs. Perhaps they use atheism as a prop in much the [Read More...]... Read more »

  • March 16, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 807 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 […]

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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 11, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 788 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 […]

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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 10, 2016
  • 09:20 PM
  • 827 views

Use of prayer by African-Americans can help explain why they are more sensitive to pain

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

African-Americans are more sensitive to pain than Caucasian (white) Americans. That’s been shown in comparisons of much pain is experienced in illnesses such as AIDS and arthritis, after surgery, and in conditions such as lower back pain. It’s also been shown experimentally, when volunteers undergo painful experiences (like holding your hand in ice-cold water) and report [Read More...]... Read more »

  • March 4, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 738 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
  • 689 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 27, 2016
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,014 views

Sticks and stones (3): How names hurt

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

The shock of the old

Most people in Iceland don’t have family names. Instead, Icelanders’ last names are made from their father or mother’s first name, to which males add the suffix -son (son) and females -dóttir (daughter). This practice can seem strange to outsiders, but it was common throughout Scandinavia until surprisingly recently: laws compelling citizens to adopt heritable family names were only enacted in 1828 in Denmark, 1901 in Sweden, and 1922 in Norway......... Read more »

Baek SK, Kiet HA, & Kim BJ. (2007) Family name distributions: master equation approach. Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 76(4 Pt 2), 46113. PMID: 17995066  

Chang, J., Donnelly, P., Wiuf, C., Hein, J., Slatkin, M., Ewens, W., & Kingman, J. (1999) Recent common ancestors of all present-day individuals. Advances in Applied Probability, 31(4), 1002-1026. DOI: 10.1239/aap/1029955256  

Colman, A., Sluckin, W., & Hargreaves, D. (1981) The effect of familiarity on preferences for surnames. British Journal of Psychology, 72(3), 363-369. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1981.tb02195.x  

A. Crook. (2012) Personal Names in 18th-Century Scotland: a case study of the parish of Beith (North Ayrshire). Journal of Scottish Name Studies, 1-10. info:/

Guo, J., Chen, Q., & Wang, Y. (2011) Statistical distribution of Chinese names. Chinese Physics B, 20(11), 118901. DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/20/11/118901  

Shannon, C. (1948) A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Bell System Technical Journal, 27(3), 379-423. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1948.tb01338.x  

Shannon, C. (1951) Prediction and Entropy of Printed English. Bell System Technical Journal, 30(1), 50-64. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1951.tb01366.x  

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