See Ideology as Cognitive and Not Just Political

April 23rd, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: In all facets of persuasion, and human communication for that matter, we are now used to dealing with a pretty polarized world. Addressing or responding to anything having to do with current events always involves a quick mental check on your audience and what their latitude of acceptance is likely to be. We’re accommodating ourselves to living in a politically-divided world, but are those divisions driven by more than opinion and ideology? Probably. One interesting line of research has been looking into the extent to which the stark differences in political attitudes that we see might

Witness Testimony as “Conversation with Forethought”

April 21st, 2018|The Advantage Blog - Tsongas Litigation Consulting|

One of the most difficult challenges in preparing a witness for trial or deposition testimony is helping them understand the unique setting that is witness testimony.  It is unlike almost any other communication event. The question-and-answer format provides a certain amount of control to the questioner, making it a more one-sided event than many other settings. The obligation to respond to every appropriately made question and the inability to ask questions in return (save for a request for clarification) creates unique challenges for witnesses. Witnesses also have to be reminded that this is not like a lunchtime chat with friends

Don’t Adapt to ‘Learning Style’

April 19th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It is part of the received wisdom of popular psychology: People have different learning styles. You reach “auditory learners” by explaining it to them verbally, “visual learners” by showing them graphics, “reflective learners” by giving them something to ruminate on, and “kinesthetic learners” by having them get up and do it. Influence fails, this lore holds, when you use the wrong methods to address individuals with each of these learning styles. But is it true? Are there really these four different groups, and does effective teaching depend on using the right approach with each? The answer, explored

Looking [in the Netherlands and in Wisconsin] for core characteristics of the psychopath 

April 19th, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

The mental image many of us have of psychopaths is similar to the graphic illustrating this post. They are terrifying. “Terrifying” however is pretty vague and we need a more precise vocabulary to discuss what you see in a psychopath—that is, their core characteristics. Apparently, the more research that has been done on the psychopath, the more disagreement there is about which characteristics are “core to” or “define” the psychopath. Here’s a study that helps to identify what the core characteristics are of the psychopath by comparing similarities and differences between psychopaths in the US and the Netherlands. In an

Battling Confirmation Bias and First Impressions in Litigation

April 17th, 2018|The Sound Jury Library (Sound Jury Consulting)|

By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. Confirmation bias refers to when people accept or reject evidence based upon what they want to believe as opposed to basing it on the actual merits of the evidence. In some ways, it is a psychological survival mechanism tied to our beliefs about how the world works. Challenges to these beliefs can cause a great deal of chaos and stress, so our brains are, essentially, pre-programmed to seek out evidence that reinforces those beliefs, while minimizing, explaining away, or outright rejecting evidence that challenges them. In fact, this explains the siloed media we have today

Storyboards: The Key to Successful Litigation Animations

April 17th, 2018|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

It seems to me that a good many sophisticated people, including a lot of lawyers, don’t fully understand the role of storyboards in developing an animation. A storyboard has been defined as a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence. The first story boards were used by the Walt Disney animation team in the early 1930s, and at A2L, we use storyboards in exactly the same way – to pre-visualize an animation that we are intending to use at a