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  • March 5, 2014
  • 04:41 PM
  • 1,174 views

Got a Dollar? You May Be Happier if You Spend it on Someone Else

by amikulak in Daily Observations

A boost to income can increase happiness to a certain degree, but research suggests how you spend your money may be equally important as the amount you have. According to […]... Read more »

Dunn, E., Aknin, L., & Norton, M. (2014) Prosocial spending and happiness: Using money to benefit others pays off. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(1), 41-47. DOI: 10.1177/0963721413512503  

  • March 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 796 views

Binge-watching House of Cards, cheating, and creativity

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

I did not intend to binge watch the newly-released second season of House of Cards. But once I saw the first episode, I could not stop and watched the entire season over the next 4 days. As a fellow fan, I understood Barack Obama’s tweet about the show Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please.   and […]

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Creativity in others makes us uncertain and anxious
How can cheating be wrong when it feels so right?
Keep your eye on this one: A Depravity Scale


... Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,597 views

Does cyber stalking really harm anyone?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us realize that real life stalking is a serious issue and very frightening to the victim, whether male or female and whether young or old. But what about cyber stalking? While research on real life stalking has grown over the past two decades, actual research on cyber stalking is sparse–despite ever-increasing depictions on […]

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Are female stalkers less likely to be violent than male stalkers?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Who cares........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 01:50 AM
  • 890 views

The Impenetrable Bulwark of Vaccination Lies

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

America has a problem. Some people are spouting the lie that vaccines can cause autism and other people are believing them. This has led to some unfortunate false-equivalence when the issue is discussed, and wouldn’t you know it, that false equivalence makes people less likely to believe the truth. Sometimes there’s no false equivalence; people […]... Read more »

Nyhan, B., Reifler, J., Richey, S., & Freed, G.L. (2014) Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. info:/

  • February 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,020 views

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or White?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about the role of non-belief or of strong religious beliefs on juries and juror decision-making. The majority of research, largely based on White participants, has shown repeatedly that for White Christians, if you are an non-believer (e.g., an Atheist or a Muslim), you will be looked on less favorably […]

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You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
He........ Read more »

  • February 23, 2014
  • 11:31 AM
  • 786 views

Are People Wired to Help the Needy?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Humans tend to be altruistic creatures. Don’t be fooled by what you see on Black Friday or days when Congress votes on food stamp funding — we like helping each other out. A popular explanation for our behavior is that we have evolved to care for those in need and feel empathy when we come […]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 867 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “tainted altruism effect”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

People will actually see you more positively when you raise no money for charity at all than they will when you raise $1,000,000 (but skim $100,000 for yourself). Even if you said you were going to keep 10% up front and the charity really did get the $900,000! When you benefit (in any way) from […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Using counter-factual thinking to your advantage
Simple Jury Persuasion: Use pre-factual thinking to your advantage in litigation
Simple Jury Persuasion: ........ Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,111 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The weaker the evidence, the more precise you become

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When your evidence is weak, how can you be more persuasive? Precision. Observers want to see certain things to have confidence in what you are saying. The more precise you are, the more likely the observer is to see you as knowledgeable and accurate (even when negotiating for salary!). So what does the observer look […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Can walking to the jury room make jurors forget your evidence?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Hearsay evidence & the expert witness
Si........ Read more »

Jerez-Fernandez A, Angulo AN, & Oppenheimer DM. (2014) Show me the numbers: precision as a cue to others' confidence. Psychological Science, 25(2), 633-5. PMID: 24317423  

  • February 17, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 880 views

Your online avatar and your real-world behavior

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Last fall we wrote about how having a dark-skinned avatar in an immersive virtual reality experience can reduce your implicit bias against dark-skinned people. Now Illinois researchers show us that the avatar assigned in online gaming also influences behavior. How? If you are assigned to be a hero, you do good. If you are assigned […]

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“Spend some time in my skin”
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’t the HBO show!
Should you try online jury research?


... Read more »

  • February 14, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 688 views

Racist roads not taken and prejudice-based aggression

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

About a year ago we wrote about people making up “racist roads not taken” in the past to excuse biased or racist behavior in the moment. Racist behavior or decisions in the moment were excused because “back then I had the chance to behave in a racist way but did not, so it’s okay for […]

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“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
Is there a relationship between age and ethnic prejudice?
Politics and prejudice? Nope. It’s about ideo........ Read more »

  • February 13, 2014
  • 06:00 AM
  • 1,610 views

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Overpriced roses and generic greeting cards are flying off the shelves, only to be thrown in the trash in a day or two. Windows, storefronts, even drab office cubicles are […]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,491 views

The Sensitivity to Mean Intentions (SeMI) Model

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

There are some research models whose names seem silly, or at least named for a Taylor Swift song. Oddly enough, there is a large body of research on those who are “habitually sensitive toward victimization” and it turns out they tend to be uncooperative and immoral in “socially uncertain situations”. Apparently, the suspicion and mistrust […]

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Empathy: Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions
Shooting the messenger: The intergroup sensitivity ef........ Read more »

  • February 10, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 689 views

Name that gadget, widget, or otherwise smart device!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The movie Her plays with the idea of Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with a computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). And today’s research article isn’t far off that track but….it’s much more applicable to litigation advocacy. These researchers took on the issue of trust in autonomous driving vehicles (computer-controlled, rather than driver-operated– which […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Do haters have to hate? It would seem so.
When you wear ........ Read more »

  • February 6, 2014
  • 03:43 AM
  • 867 views

Bullying at Work [Legal Organizations], Coping Strategies, and Health Problems

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Bullying, defined as the “repeated, systematic, and intentional negative behavior of one or more individuals directed at another individual”, causes stress and problems at work.  Bullying really hurts people and their organizations.  Bullies cause psychosomatic and physiologic complaints and psychological problems for their victims.  According to some definitions, bullying requires a power differential.  Most [...]
The post Bullying at Work [Legal Organizations], Coping Strategies, and H........ Read more »

Dehue, F., Bolman, C., Völlink, T., & Pouwelse, M. (2012) Coping with bullying at work and health related problems. . International Journal of Stress Management,. DOI: 10.1037/a0028969  

  • February 4, 2014
  • 11:10 PM
  • 1,136 views

Meditation Mitigates Effects of Cognitive Biases

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

There have been thousands of scholarly articles written about the myriad benefits of meditation, but the one I came across recently was one of the first that confirmed one of my previously held beliefs: meditation helps you make better decisions. … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,177 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The Red Sneakers Effect

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

All those dress for success formulas apparently forgot something important. Nonconformity can be a good thing when thoughtfully applied. However, if observers think you are unaware that your behavior or attire is not conforming–then you’re just a weirdo. Harvard researchers call this the “red sneakers effect” and here’s how it works.  Many of us think […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: The innuendo effect
Simple Jury Persuasion: The “turban effect”
Simple Jury P........ Read more »

  • January 31, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 684 views

The impact of the apparently unreliable co-witness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written before about the intoxicated witness. While our mock jurors tend to dismiss them as unreliable, recent research presents a mixed picture as to their accuracy. New work out of New Zealand adds to the murkiness by having apparently intoxicated confederates witness an incident along with the research participant and then contribute misinformation during […]

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But, your honor! That witness was drunk!
Expert witness influence: Interrogation tactics and false confes........ Read more »

  • January 29, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 814 views

Measuring psychopathy in the sexually violent predator (SVP)

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s hard to really feel sorry for the sexually violent predator who is up for parole. It’s even harder when their level of public dangerousness isn’t really known. We first saw this study over at Karen Franklin’s In the News blog and it makes a strong statement about the ineffectiveness of an often-used measure for […]

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Is that psychopath going to be violent in the future?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Are female stalkers less likely to be vi........ Read more »

  • January 27, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 788 views

“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. I spent thirteen years consulting with managers and nothing could turn them into anxious giggling adolescents faster than figuring out how to talk to an employee about offensive body odor. Somehow, it felt more “personal” than addressing issues like tardiness, inappropriate or disruptive behaviors, poor work performance, or the myriad […]

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Should you maybe change your last name so people like you better?
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  • January 24, 2014
  • 01:00 AM
  • 883 views

What Increases Trust in Driverless Cars?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Driverless cars face a mountain of technological, legal, and regulatory barriers, but it seems likely that some type of autonomous vehicle will eventually reach the cusp of widespread use. At that point, assuming the vehicle hasn’t been made obsolete by the invention of the hoverboard, it will have to earn the trust and confidence of the people […]... Read more »

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