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  • May 31, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 779 views

Your best bet for an expert witness is a friendly  nerd rather than an attractive scientist

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

And it doesn’t really matter if the expert is male or female, if they are young or old, and they can be any ethnicity! In other words, said the researchers—the variables we have read so much about (i.e., gender, age, ethnicity) are not as notable as whether someone “looks like” our stereotype of a “good […]... Read more »

Gheorghiu, A., Callan, M., & Skylark, W. (2017) Facial appearance affects science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)., 201620542. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1620542114  

  • May 29, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 724 views

Witness preparation: To vocal fry or not to vocal  fry?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

If you are young(er) you likely know precisely what vocal fry means and if you are old(er)—probably not so much. It is a cultural phenomenon seen primarily (but not only) in young(er) women as described at the Mental Floss website: “Vocal fry describes a specific sound quality caused by the movement of the vocal folds. […]... Read more »

  • May 26, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 785 views

Cassandra’s Regret: The Psychology of Not Wanting to  Know

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Do you want to know the future? You may want to say it all depends on which aspects of your future. Typically, while we seek information routinely to make decisions in our day-to-day lives, we don’t always want to know for sure what will happen in our futures. These researchers remind us about the story […]... Read more »

Gigerenzer G, & Garcia-Retamero R. (2017) Cassandra's regret: The psychology of not wanting to know. Psychological Review, 124(2), 179-196. PMID: 28221086  

  • May 24, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 334 views

The Invisibility Cloak Illusion: We are more observant (and  yet, less observed) than all others

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is the sort of article that can either amuse or terrify you. It will amuse you if you are charmed by all the ways in which we see ourselves as superior to others. And it will terrify you if you do not want to know that you are always being observed closely by everyone […]... Read more »

  • May 17, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 263 views

Those who only kill children are neuro-psychologically different from other murderers

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Of course it isn’t a surprise that they are gravely disturbed, but who knew it was neuropsychological?  This is an article from researchers at Northwestern University and looks very specifically at similarities and differences in the neuropsychological test scores of those who killed only children and those who killed some adults as well as children. […]... Read more »

Azores-Gococo, N., Brook, M., Teralandur, S., & Hanlon, R. (2017) Killing A Child. Criminal Justice and Behavior., 2147483647. DOI: 10.1177/0093854817699437  

  • May 15, 2017
  • 01:29 AM
  • 144 views

Looking for Empathy in All the Wrong Places: Bizarre Cases of Factitious Disorder

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

art by Zdzisław Beksiński Factitious disorder is a rare psychiatric condition where an individual deliberately induces or fabricates an ailment because of a desire to fulfill the role of a sick person. This differs from garden variety malingering, where an individual feigns illness for secondary gain (drug seeking, financial gain, avoidance of work, etc.). The primary goal in factitious disorder is to garner attention and sympathy from caregivers and medical staff.The psychiatric handbook DSM-5 identifies two types of factitious disorder: Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self (formerly known as Munchausen syndrome when the feigned symptoms were physical, rather than psychological).  Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another: When an individual falsifies illness in another, whether that be a child, pet or older adult (formerly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy).Since the desire to elicit empathy is one of the main objectives in this disorder, it is odd indeed when the “patient” feigns a frightening or repellent condition. A recent report by Fischer et al. (2016) discussed a particularly flagrant example: the case of a middle-aged man who falsely claimed to be a sexually sadistic serial killer to impress his psychotherapist. Not surprisingly, his ruse was a complete failure.The case report noted that Mr. S had been a loner his entire life: ... He described having anxiety growing up, mainly in social situations. ... Mr. S had a history of alcohol abuse starting in his mid-twenties and continuing into his early forties. He denied any significant medical history. He denied legal difficulties, psychiatric hospitalizations, and suicide attempts. He was single, had never been married, had no children, and reported having only one close friend for most of his life. He never had a close long-term romantic relationship and stated a clear preference for living a solitary life. Mr. S had served in the military but did not see combat, and afterwards worked the graveyard shift as a security guard (all the better to avoid people).One year prior to his admission to the psychiatric hospital, Mr. S sought outpatient therapy for depression and engaged in weekly supportive psychotherapy with a young female psychology intern. His psychiatrist started an SSRI antidepressant and a low dose of antipsychotic medication for “depression with psychotic features.” Mr. S's alleged psychosis consisted of “voices” of crowds of people saying things that he could not make out, which he experienced while working the night shift. He consistently attended his therapy sessions and was noted to be making progress. However, several months into his therapy, Mr. S told his therapist that he had been involved in of military combat and described himself as a decorated war hero. After several therapy sessions in which he [falsely] recounted his combat experiences, Mr. S was queried as to whether he ever killed anyone, to which Mr. S replied, “During the military or after the military?” He then told his therapist that he had followed, raped, and killed numerous women during the 20 years since leaving the military.He recounted his imaginary crimes to the young female intern:Mr. S reported that he would follow a potential female victim for several months before raping and strangling her to death with a rope. Although he claimed to rape and kill the women, he did not describe any sexual arousal from the subjugation, torture, or killing of his alleged victims. He refused to disclose how many women he had killed, where he had killed them, or how he had disposed of their bodies. He described having purchased various supplies to aid in abduction, which he kept in the back of his van while cruising for victims. These supplies included rope and two identical sets of clothes and shoes to help evade detection by the police. He described using various techniques to track his victims, as well as evade surveillance of his activities. He informed his therapist that he was actively following a woman he had encountered in a local public library several days earlier. Mr. S acknowledged that he studied the modus operandi of famous sexually sadistic serial killers by reading books. The patient's therapist, feeling frightened and threatened by these disclosures, transferred his case to her supervisor, who then saw the patient for a few therapy sessions. Mr. S reported worsening depression, hearing more “voices,” and attempting to self-amputate his leg using a tourniquet. Consequently, Mr. S was involuntarily detained as a “danger to self” and “danger to others” for evaluation in the local psychiatric hospital.He was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified severity, with psychotic features. His routine physical, neurological exam, and lab work all yielded normal results. ...The inpatient treatment team contacted the District Attorney's office in order to file for continued involuntary hospitalization due to the patient's homicidal ideation and history of violence. Subsequent police investigation and review of records could not substantiate any of the patient's claims of committing multiple homicides in the Pacific Northwest.. . .After the District Attorney accepted the application for the prolonged involuntary civil commitment (180-day hold), Mr. S was confronted with the inconsistencies between his self-reported symptoms and objective findings and the failure to corroborate his claims of prior homicides. In response, Mr. S then confessed that he “had made the whole thing up…about the killings…all of it” because he “wanted attention.” He said that he had never followed, raped, or killed anyone and never had an intention to do so. He said that he did not know why he claimed this, other than an “impulse came over me and I acted on it.” His false identity as a serial killer backfired, and he couldn't understand why his therapist had discontinued their sessions:He had believed that his feigned history and symptomatology would make him a “more interesting” patient to his therapist. He reported feeling rejected when his therapist transferred his care to her supervisor. He had little insight into why his therapist may have been frightened by his behavior. Mr. S revealed that following his initial fabrications, and despite his initial involuntary hospitalization, he had felt too embarrassed to admit the truth.His original diagnosis was revised to “factitious disorder with psychological symptoms, and cluster A traits (particularly schizoid and schizotypal traits) without meeting criteria for any one specific personality disorder.” Because of these personality traits, he had no insight into why his therapist might feel threatened by his terrifying stories. There are at least two other papers describing cases of factitious disorder with repugnant feigned symptoms: one reported a case of factitious pedophilia, and the other reported a case of factitious homicidal ideation.Thanks to Dr. Tannahill Glen for the link.References... Read more »

Porter, T., & Feldman, M. (2011) A Case of Factitious Pedophilia. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56(5), 1380-1382. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01804.x  

Thompson CR, & Beckson M. (2004) A case of factitious homicidal ideation. The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 32(3), 277-81. PMID: 15515916  

  • May 5, 2017
  • 08:05 AM
  • 223 views

Lies, lies and more lies: An update on deception research 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

All this week, we have focused on research about lying but there are multiple other articles we want to share with you that will not require a full post. Think of this post as an update on deception that will aid you in preparation for court (and life in general). Small, self-serving lies change our […]... Read more »

Garrett N, Lazzaro SC, Ariely D, & Sharot T. (2016) The brain adapts to dishonesty. Nature Neuroscience, 19(12), 1727-1732. PMID: 27775721  

  • May 3, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 366 views

Artful Paltering: One more way people lie (especially in  negotiations!)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Back in 2010, we posted on an article called Artful Dodging that talked about how politicians in particular, answer the question they prefer to answer rather than the question you asked. We talked about responding to that strategy in voir dire. Now, we have another article from the same group of researchers and this one […]... Read more »

Rogers T, Zeckhauser R, Gino F, Norton MI, & Schweitzer ME. (2017) Artful paltering: The risks and rewards of using truthful statements to mislead others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(3), 456-473. PMID: 27936834  

  • May 1, 2017
  • 12:35 PM
  • 344 views

The illusion of truth (which is why you should never  repeat fake news)

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s been all about “fake news” for a while now and here’s a study telling us to just stop talking about it. Well, sort of. What it actually says is even when we have knowledge to the contrary, if we hear something repeated enough—we come to believe it. Hence, our recommendation that we need to […]... Read more »

Fazio LK, Brashier NM, Payne BK, & Marsh EJ. (2015) Knowledge does not protect against illusory truth. Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 144(5), 993-1002. PMID: 26301795  

  • April 17, 2017
  • 02:00 PM
  • 234 views

The emergence of the alternative metric that can make the measurement of world academic production more fair and egalitarian

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

The growing use of social networks for various purposes, including the dissemination of scientific communication, has required the creation of a new method of measuring and analyzing the flow of information in these environments. Altmetria emerged as a subarea of Metrics Information Studies to meet this need, and can complement traditional methods of evaluation, thus making it more fair and egalitarian. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 7, 2017
  • 04:02 PM
  • 227 views

Outsourcing and precariousness of work in the social assistance policy

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

This paper presents the work conditions of psychologists hired by private organizations to work at the Sistema Único de Assistência Social (Unified System for Social Assistance). Among other things, it concludes that this “outsourcing” process has been allowing temporary contracts, high turnover rates, late payment of salaries, dismissal of large groups of employees and lack of continuing education, which impacts the health of the workers and the quality of the services offered. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 7, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 219 views

Which science is most “certain” according to the American public? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When litigation cases rely on science or highly technical information, it is critical to help jurors understand the information underlying the case at a level that makes sense to them. If they do not understand your “science”, they will simply guess which party to vote for or “follow the crowd”. Here’s an example of what […]... Read more »

Broomell, S., & Kane, P. (2017) Public perception and communication of scientific uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(2), 286-304. DOI: 10.1037/xge0000260  

  • April 5, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 455 views

Your Black client is much more likely to be wrongfully convicted

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Those of us who’ve been around for a while have heard this repeatedly. But, lest you think times are changing, here’s some sobering data from a March, 2017 report co-edited by a Michigan State University College of Law Professor. From the beginning, this is a disturbing report. Here’s how it starts: African-Americans are only 13% […]... Read more »

Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, & Klara Stephens. (2017) Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States. . UC Irvine: National Registry of Exonerations. . info:/

  • April 3, 2017
  • 02:00 PM
  • 230 views

Medical practice precariousness at the Unified Health System — SUS

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

The medical practice in the Unified Health System is a study topic published in the journal Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas), which reveals the working conditions of these professionals and the impacts on personal health, analyzed through interviews and self-confidence. … Read More →... Read more »

  • April 3, 2017
  • 11:59 AM
  • 438 views

Criminal defense? Brain scans could show whether “they did it  on purpose”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When my kids were younger, I used to talk to them about the difference between intent and impact as they struggled to understand the varying reactions of people to their behavior. Back in 2009, we posted on some new research showing that we reacted more indignantly when bad deeds were done “on purpose”. Here is […]... Read more »

Vilares I, Wesley MJ, Ahn WY, Bonnie RJ, Hoffman M, Jones OD, Morse SJ, Yaffe G, Lohrenz T, & Montague PR. (2017) Predicting the knowledge-recklessness distinction in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(12), 3222-3227. PMID: 28289225  

  • March 24, 2017
  • 02:00 PM
  • 368 views

Lines that do not meet? Different perspectives of psychology upon organizations and work

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Is it possible to attach a single label to the different approaches and professional practices of Psychology regarding work? Are there irreconcilable differences between psychology approaches, for example, an approach with a concentrated focus on management and another focused on the health of workers? … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 21, 2017
  • 02:00 PM
  • 412 views

Study proposes fruition as a new attribute of information representation for works of contemporary art

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

It discusses information and art starting from the books of artists, from the collection of the Núcleo de Arte Contemporânea da Paraíba (NAC/UFPB), analyzing the performance of CI through the representation of information, in a collaborative working relationship between professionals. The representation of information could help in the treatment and organization of information, softening the complexity of these objects in the face of their possibilities of abstraction and fruition. … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 20, 2017
  • 02:00 PM
  • 387 views

Research analyzes use of TRS in organizational studies

by SciELO in SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases

Bibliometric research analyzes the use of Social Representation Theory (SRT) in Organizational Studies (OS). We investigated 90 papers published in journals and scientific events from 2001 to 2014. The results indicate that the use of SRT in OS is incipient, superficial and presents theoretical and methodological inconsistencies. … Read More →... Read more »

  • March 20, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 448 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The SPOT (Spontaneous Preference  for Own Theories) effect 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s been a while since we’ve had a new cognitive bias to share with you. Previously we’ve blogged on many different biases and here are a handful of those posts. Today’s research paper combines three biases—two of which we’ve blogged about before: the better-than-average effect, confirmation bias and also, the endowment effect. The endowment effect […]... Read more »

Gregg AP, Mahadevan N, & Sedikides C. (2017) The SPOT effect: People spontaneously prefer their own theories. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(6), 996-1010. PMID: 26836058  

  • March 17, 2017
  • 08:02 AM
  • 466 views

Don’t do this at work, beards, ear worms, narcissists, &  discarding advances in knowledge

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s another this-and-that post documenting things you need to know but that we don’t want to do a whole post about–so you get a plethora of factoids that will entertain your family and entrance your co-workers. Or at least be sort of fun to read and (probably) as awe-inspiring as the stack of vegetables and […]... Read more »

Beaman, CP, Powell, K, & Rapley, E. (2015) Want to block eagworms from conscious awareness? Buy gum! . The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,, 68(6), 1049-1057. info:/

Hepper EG, Hart CM, & Sedikides C. (2014) Moving Narcissus: Can Narcissists Be Empathic?. Personality , 40(9), 1079-1091. PMID: 24878930  

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