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  • November 18, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 1,176 views

This Is Your TV On Drugs

by Mark E. Lasbury in The 'Scope

There are more than 100 drug commercials on TV every hour of every day. Why? Because they work. Research shows that advertised drugs are prescribed 9x more than comparable drugs that aren’t advertised. And all those side effect notices? The drug companies like them because research says that all you remember is that they were “honest” with you.... Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 810 views

Non-citizen? Undocumented? Watch out for jury sentencing!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You are likely familiar with the fact that African-Americans and Hispanics often receive harsher sentences than do White defendants. So where do you think the undocumented immigrant or non-citizen would fall in that lineup? The undocumented receive the harshest sentences and non-citizens (who are in the country legally) come in second. Why? The authors of […]

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Are they “illegal aliens” or “undocumented workers”?
Go to jail. Go directly to jail. And if you are a woma........ Read more »

  • November 10, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 757 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “halo of scientific validity” effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written about the lack of evidence for the much-feared “CSI Effect”. But here’s an interesting study about the simple “appearance of science” as opposed to the bells and whistles of high-tech “CSI”-like evidence. All it takes is the use of “scientese” (scientific sounding words)–not to be confused with “lawyerese” (which we wrote about here […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Educating jurors about science may have no effect
Simple Jury Persuasi........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2014
  • 09:01 AM
  • 835 views

You can tell a lot from looking at someone’s face…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Our mock jurors (and many others as well) tend to believe the eyes are the “window to the soul” and that by simply looking at the eyes of another, they can intuit truthfulness and character. But it can be even easier! Just look at the face and you can actually assess introversion/extroversion, competence/incompetence, dominance/submission, and […]

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I can tell from your face that you are suicidal
Never trust a man with a wide face
Wearing your religion on your face


... Read more »

Olivola, C., Funk, F., & Todorov, A. (2014) Social attributions from faces bias human choices. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(11), 566-570. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.09.007  

  • November 6, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,142 views

Infants Can Tell If You’re a Reliable Informant

by amikulak in Daily Observations

It’s hard to know how babies think, since they’re still getting a handle on language skills.  One strategy that researchers use to gain some insight is eye tracking, which allows […]... Read more »

Tummeltshammer, K., Wu, R., Sobel, D., & Kirkham, N. (2014) Infants Track the Reliability of Potential Informants. Psychological Science, 25(9), 1730-1738. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614540178  

  • November 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 594 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “not in my town!” effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A couple of years ago we were working for the Plaintiff on pretrial research for a case against a large national healthcare corporation. The Plaintiff had been injured quite dramatically due to what she alleged was the Defendant’s lack of care (i.e., negligence) in selling her what company executives knew to be a pharmaceutical product […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: The ‘Scott Peterson Effect’—Displayed remorse and conviction
Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effec........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 650 views

Do you smell red or blue? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This post might well fall into the category of “the route to tenure-track publication credits is not always the high road”. We discard lots of dicey research reports (such as this one) because they add nothing to our goal of improving litigation advocacy. But this one was so weird we found it amusing. Enjoy. But […]

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“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Things You Should (Maybe) Know…
........ Read more »

McDermott, R., Tingley, D., & Hatemi, P. (2014) Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 997-1005. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 916 views

Decision Making - Monkey See, Monkey Do (But Not Like a Human)

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

A great deal is known about how we make simple decisions, right down to the way neurons in our brains connect to translate the things we sense into the responses we make. Some of the most important neural studies of decision-making have used monkeys as an analogue for humans. The broader scope of methodology which can be used with primates has provided information far beyond that obtainable from human experimentation. However, conclusions based on animal experiments may not always translate to h........ Read more »

Cassey, P., Heathcote, A., & Brown, S. (2014) Brain and Behavior in Decision-Making. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(7), 1-7. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003700  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 656 views

Male? Don’t watch comedy videos prior to trial presentations…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Many have written about men being over-confident in comparison to women–although all of us may be more confident in our abilities than we generally should be. Prior research has shown us that men are more confident than women, and that happy people tend to view themselves more positively and happy people actually often perform better […]

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So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
Male body shame and aggression against women (“rape proclivity”........ Read more »

Ifcher, J., & Zarghamee, H. (2014) Affect and overconfidence: A laboratory investigation. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 7(3), 125-150. DOI: 10.1037/npe0000022  

  • October 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 676 views

Is that eye witness lying? Let’s just check those P300 brain waves…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written before about the inaccuracy of eye witness testimony despite the familiarity of the saying, “I know what I saw!”. But here is newly published research purporting to have been “able to discriminate perfectly between 12 knowledgeable subjects who viewed stimuli related to their activities and 12 non-knowledgeable subjects who viewed only irrelevant items”. […]

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“That witness is lying and I can prove it”
Brain Porn? That is so 2008. Neuro-skepticism........ Read more »

  • October 27, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 619 views

So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We can hear the snickers and gasps now–and likely the immediate objection from (probably) the opposing counsel or (unquestionably) the judge. But not always. So why might this be something you want to know? According to new research in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a distinguishing characteristic of narcissists is that they watch […]

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An update on online research of potential jurors
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Excuse me, potential ........ Read more »

Kasper TE, Short MB, & Milam AC. (2014) Narcissism and Internet Pornography Use. Journal of Sex , 1-6. PMID: 24918657  

  • October 23, 2014
  • 04:42 PM
  • 1,008 views

Trick-or-Treating: What Do You Hand Out On Halloween?

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Halloween is almost here. And you know what that means: Candy! It’s one of those Halloween traditions that I just never seem to have grown out of. Those little chocolate bars are seriously dangerous to my waistline. Remember how much Halloween candy you ate when you were a kid? Were you one of those kids who gorged on all that sugary goodness, or were you the type to parse it out and make it last? I was a Trader, that kid that made deals to trade all her bad candy for the good stuff. Anyway, t........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2014
  • 04:21 PM
  • 1,627 views

Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

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 »

  • October 20, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 738 views

Morality in everyday life for the religious and the nonreligious

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The researchers recruited a sample of 1,252 adults ranging in age from 18 to 68 years of age who reside in the US and Canada. Each participant completed measures of religiosity and political ideation prior to participation in the actual study. All participants had smartphones and were randomly signaled on their phone for 3 days […]

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Should I choose the creative juror, the introvert/extravert, or the religious juror?
“Everyday liars” and “Prolific liarsR........ Read more »

Hofmann W, Wisneski DC, Brandt MJ, & Skitka LJ. (2014) Morality in everyday life. Science (New York, N.Y.), 345(6202), 1340-3. PMID: 25214626  

  • October 13, 2014
  • 07:59 AM
  • 1,480 views

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

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

A fully rational approach to task completion would involve creating a priority list of tasks based on a composite score of task importance and the remaining time until the deadline. The most important task with the most proximate deadline would have to be tackled first, and the lowest priority task with the furthest deadline last. This sounds great in theory, but it is quite difficult to implement. A substantial amount of research has been conducted to understand how our moods, distractability a........ Read more »

  • October 1, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,117 views

Admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on neurolaw issues and we think you’ll want to read the entire article upon which this post is based. The article is published in Court Review: Journal of the American Judges Association (which is probably a journal you would benefit from perusing regularly). The article (authored […]

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Confused about brain scans? Welcome to the club!
On brains, brain damage, pedophilia and other things we don’t like
Defending the Psychop........ Read more »

Rushing, SE. (2014) The admissibility of brain scans in criminal trials: The case of positron emission tomography. . Court Review, 50(2). info:/

  • September 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 883 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Should you consider 3-D for your courtroom videos?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Evidence admissibility issues aside, the answer is, “only if you can do it as well as they did in the 3D movie Polar Express”. As it turns out, 3D isn’t that much more impactful than 2D unless it’s done really, really well. Psychologists and neuroscientists studying emotion often use film clips for their research. So […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: When videos are too persuasive…
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Is tha........ Read more »

Bride DL, Crowell SE, Baucom BR, Kaufman EA, O'Connor CG, Skidmore CR, & Yaptangco M. (2014) Testing the Effectiveness of 3D Film for Laboratory-Based Studies of Emotion. PLoS ONE, 9(8). PMID: 25170878  

  • September 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 645 views

Would you prefer a smaller government? Actually, no you would not. 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

For a number of years now, we have been asking our mock jurors what role they think government should play in our society and giving them a number of options among which to choose. Most of them say government should play a smaller role and we certainly have all heard the media messages that tell us […]

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“Just about always” and “Never” responses to trusting the federal government
Men prefer boxes and women prefer ellipses?
You might be a conservative if…you p........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 811 views

Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to new research, you can’t have both. Inspired by women who told them they “would not vote for Hillary Clinton [in the Presidential primaries a decade later] because she forgave then-President Bill Clinton’s infidelity”, these researchers looked at how male and female observers viewed male and female victims of infidelity based on how they […]

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How leaders look: Competent and trustworthy, but not dominant
Is it best to be competent, warm, or moral?
You wa........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 536 views

It’s 2014: Where are all the female subjects in surgical research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

More than two decades after the 1993 Revitalization Act was signed (stating women and minorities must be included in NIH funded research), females are still under-represented in both “basic science and translational surgical research”. The authors acknowledge that medical research on human subjects is only a small subset of all medical research. However, even those […]

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Female bosses can lower a man’s pay & prestige
Should you ask your overweight female client to........ Read more »

Yoon DY, Mansukhani NA, Stubbs VC, Helenowski IB, Woodruff TK, & Kibbe MR. (2014) Sex bias exists in basic science and translational surgical research. Surgery, 156(3), 508-516. PMID: 25175501  

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