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  • March 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 642 views

“We need smart jurors so we should keep the lighter skinned Black guy”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most of us have heard of the preference for lighter skin within the African-American community. Some of us have also heard of “colorism” in general—a bias shared by many in our culture. Recently, author Lance Hannon (a sociologist from Villanova University) used data from the 2012 American National Election Study and found that Whites in […]

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Lighter Skin, More Like Me

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or ........ Read more »

Hannon, L. (2015) White Colorism. Social Currents, 2(1), 13-21. DOI: 10.1177/2329496514558628  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 534 views

“Classical music will protect you from Alzheimer’s” and  other lies on the internet

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This week I read several sensationalized reports of research findings from some scientists in Finland. “Classical music can help slow down the onset of dementia” and “Listening To Classical Music Could Improve Genes Responsible For Certain Brain Functions”. The articles reported that listening to a 20 minute Mozart violin concerto could stave off dementia and […]

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No one knows you’re a dog on the internet (actually, they do!)
Another look at who lies…
Will ........ Read more »

Brown, M. J., Henriquez, E., & Groscup, J. (2008) The effects of eyeglasses and race on juror decisions involving a violent crime. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 26(2), 25-43. info:/

  • March 16, 2015
  • 09:18 PM
  • 1,435 views

Thinking about God causes people to take bigger risks… wait, what???

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

A team from Stanford University Graduate School of Business has just published a nice series of studies showing that priming people with the idea of god can increase their appetite for risk. Over at the Friendly Atheist, Rachel Ford did a good write up, leading with the headline conclusion that thinking about god actually causes [Read More...]... Read more »

Noussair, C., Trautmann, S., van de Kuilen, G., & Vellekoop, N. (2013) Risk aversion and religion. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 47(2), 165-183. DOI: 10.1007/s11166-013-9174-8  

  • March 9, 2015
  • 08:58 AM
  • 2,425 views

“She’s strong for a girl”: The Negative Impact of Stereotypes About Women

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

We have all heard the stereotypes: women can’t drive, they don’t understand computers, and how many blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb? But those are all in good fun, right? But what if gender stereotypes actually bring about the observed differences between men and women that supposedly underline these stereotypes? A recent study by the psychologist Marina Pavlova at the University of Tübingen tested this idea.... Read more »

Pavlova, M., Weber, S., Simoes, E., & Sokolov, A. (2014) Gender Stereotype Susceptibility. PLoS ONE, 9(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0114802  

  • March 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 674 views

The Personal Sense of Power Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We give you information about various scales from time to time and always put “Scale” in the title of the post so they are readily searchable. This one is a brief measure of the individual sense of personal power. We heard about this scale after writing up a recent blog post and thought it interesting […]

Related posts:
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
The Disgust Scale: How have we missed this all this time?
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real)........ Read more »

Anderson, C., John, O., & Keltner, D. (2012) The Personal Sense of Power. Journal of Personality, 80(2), 313-344. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00734.x  

  • March 5, 2015
  • 10:11 AM
  • 1,263 views

Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Daniella Kupor and her colleagues at Stanford University have recently published the paper "Anticipating Divine Protection? Reminders of God Can Increase Nonmoral Risk Taking" which takes a new look at the link between invoking the name of God and risky behaviors. The researchers hypothesized that reminders of God may have opposite effects on varying types of risk-taking behavior. For example, risk-taking behavior that is deemed ‘immoral' such as taking sexual risks or chea........ Read more »

  • March 2, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 911 views

 The gift of feeling powerful: “I find myself so inspiring”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We have written about power poses and other strategies to help yourself feel powerful.  Be clear, though—you do not become more powerful by doing such things, but it might make you feel that way, which in itself can be communicated as confidence or authority. This post isn’t about how to make yourself feel powerful, it […]

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Want that job? Just recall a time you felt powerful!
The Autocrat and the Role of Presiding Juror
Jury Selection: Art? Science? Or just a ‘gut........ Read more »

Van Kleef, G., Oveis, C., Homan, A., van der Lowe, I., & Keltner, D. (2015) Power Gets You High: The Powerful Are More Inspired by Themselves Than by Others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614566857  

  • February 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 617 views

Like thrillers? Scary movies? How do you feel about immigrants?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

So here’s a strange study. Or perhaps an unexpected outcome. We enjoy a good suspenseful thriller but never knew it might be messing with our political beliefs. Wait until you see this! The researchers were curious about how various forms of physiological reactivity (aka anxiety) would affect a political belief about one particular issue: attitudes […]

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“70% of Americans see immigration as threat to American way of life”
Are they “illegal aliens” or “undocumente........ Read more »

Renshon, J., Lee, J., & Tingley, D. (2014) Physiological Arousal and Political Beliefs. Political Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/pops.12173  

  • February 23, 2015
  • 03:54 PM
  • 762 views

Mistargeted Messages Could Spur Help-Seeking for Depression

by amikulak in Daily Observations

From decades of research, scientists have developed effective, empirically-validated interventions for treating major depression and, yet, many people suffering from depression don’t receive these treatments. While there can be many reasons […]... Read more »

  • February 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 808 views

 Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

At least that is the headline we’ve been reading about this research. We’ve written before about the psychopath. They are typically characterized as scary and “other” than us—not like us at all. They have been described as without conscience, and yet some of them are involved in corporations rather than prison. There actually are researchers […]

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Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “brains made them do it”
Defending the Psychopath: “His brain mad........ Read more »

  • February 16, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 819 views

When your parents help researchers make you believe  a lie 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Thanks to us, you know researchers trick people into eating dog food, put them in MRI machines that just happen to have snakes in them, and do other nefarious things. But did you know they sometimes enlist your parents in their deception? It is sad, but apparently true. Although these UK and Canadian researchers did […]

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Wait! What did I say last time?
Images and ads create false memories
False Confessions: “No one really does that unless they’re just stupid”


... Read more »

  • February 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 714 views

Would you get sucked in to conspiracy theories?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Well, perhaps you could rule out Bigfoot conspiracy theories, but what about the rest of them? We’ve written about some of the more unusual conspiracy theories here as well as those that simply show up routinely as we complete pretrial research. Regular readers here know that we use those cognitive leaps characteristic of the conspiracy […]

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Conspiracy theories that haven’t come up in pretrial research (yet)
Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!
........ Read more »

van Prooijen, J., Krouwel, A., & Pollet, T. (2015) Political Extremism Predicts Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550614567356  

  • February 12, 2015
  • 01:38 PM
  • 1,261 views

Will You Be My Valentine?: Making All the Right Moves

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

My Valentine’s Day themed posts have been both popular and fun to write. In last year’s Getting a Date for Valentine’s Day series, you learned that you should wear something red, gaze without being creepy, tell a good joke before walking up to your potential date who is preferably standing next to some flowers, and then open with a unique request to segue into asking them out. But that isn't the end of the story. Oh no, there are many more things that you can do to attract that special so........ Read more »

Brown, W., Cronk, L., Grochow, K., Jacobson, A., Liu, C., Popović, Z., & Trivers, R. (2005) Dance reveals symmetry especially in young men. Nature, 438(7071), 1148-1150. DOI: 10.1038/nature04344  

Neave, N., McCarty, K., Freynik, J., Caplan, N., Honekopp, J., & Fink, B. (2010) Male dance moves that catch a woman's eye. Biology Letters, 7(2), 221-224. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0619  

Bale, C., Morrison, R., & Caryl, P. (2006) Chat-up lines as male sexual displays. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(4), 655-664. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2005.07.016  

Cooper, M., O’Donnell, D., Caryl, P., Morrison, R., & Bale, C. (2007) Chat-up lines as male displays: Effects of content, sex, and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(5), 1075-1085. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.03.001  

  • February 11, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 790 views

There is a “naive faith in the trustworthiness of brain imaging data”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve seen the claims that people don’t find brain scans as alluring as they used to, but here is a study that says, “not so fast!”. It’s an oddly intriguing study involving not only invoking pretty pictures of brain function but also political affiliation and how that factors in to what one chooses to believe. […]

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Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
“This county is about 65% Republican, 25% Democrat and 10% Independent.”
fMRIs and Persuasi........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2015
  • 09:02 AM
  • 1,438 views

Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased in the........ Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 883 views

Male juror prospect? Loads of selfies on social media? Hmmm. 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Last month we were asked to provide internet research on a very large jury panel, and to complete it overnight. What that means is we want to find out as much as we can about the attitudes, values and behavior of those in our venire panel. We do that background research on the internet and […]

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Social media has not killed “the spiral of silence”
Narcissism and Social Media Use
A scientific explanation for why we are drawn to narcissists & psychopaths


... Read more »

  • February 6, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 703 views

Would you rather go to jail or prison? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You cannot really answer “neither” to this question, it’s an either/or sort of query. If you know little about either, you may blurt out “jail”, and that would be a little unwise according to today’s research. Apparently, those that do know a little about jail versus prison would much rather go to prison than spend […]

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Go to jail. Go directly to jail. And if you are a woman, stay there a lot longer.
Fat bias in the workplace
Beauty is only skin deep but the la........ Read more »

May, D., Applegate, B., Ruddell, R., & Wood, P. (2013) Going to Jail Sucks (And It Really Doesn’t Matter Who You Ask). American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(2), 250-266. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-013-9215-5  

  • February 4, 2015
  • 05:39 PM
  • 1,020 views

The Psychology of Procrastination: How We Create Categories of the Future

by Jalees Rehman in Fragments of Truth

Paying bills, filling out forms, completing class assignments or submitting grant proposals – we all have the tendency to procrastinate. We may engage in trivial activities such as watching TV shows, playing video games or chatting for an hour and risk missing important deadlines by putting off tasks that are essential for our financial and professional security. Not all humans are equally prone to procrastination, and a recent study suggests that this may in part be due to the fact that t........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 757 views

Can we just settle racial injustice out of  court?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write a lot about racial bias here at The Jury Room and a new article from Sam Sommers and Satia Marotta is a terrific summary of how unconscious racial biases can taint the legal system. The article itself has been picked up by a number of media outlets, including ScienceDaily, Pacific Standard and blogs […]

Related posts:
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
Does the Prosecution want African-American jurors for the Trayvon Martin case?
Excuse me while I slip into something m........ Read more »

  • February 2, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,118 views

The Witness Credibility Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s hard to believe we have not blogged about this scale before, but as it happens, we’ve discussed several research articles where the scale was used but never actually described the scale itself. The Witness Credibility Scale was developed by Stan Brodsky and his then-students at the University of Alabama. If you don’t recognize his […]

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Smiling and credibility: Is it different for male and female witnesses at trial?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Mu........ Read more »

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