The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)

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Pew Research: The racial divide keeps on growing  between American generations

September 18th, 2018|

Pew Research Center continually puts out well-researched and well-written reports on data generated by their surveys of the American public. They have a newer report out on how generational status is related to views of racial discrimination. Pew comments on the report this way:  “Generational differences have long been a factor in U.S. politics. These divisions are now as wide as they have been in decades, with the potential to shape politics well into the future. From immigration and race to foreign policy and the scope of government, two younger generations, Millennials and Gen Xers, stand apart from the two

Judgments on social media: Hate speech from  women versus hate speech from men

September 11th, 2018|

We’ve all seen this finding before: men who communicate their ideas forcefully are seen as assertive and as having leadership qualities. Women who communicate their ideas forcefully are judged more harshly and negatively. What about hate speech on social media? Are women judged more harshly than men there?  Please. You really have to ask? Of course women are judged more harshly for hate speech on social media!  And it doesn’t matter if you are a woman speaking hate or speaking what is called “counter [hate] speech” You are going to get blasted either way. This new article was published in

Stirring coffee to avoid cancer, leadership, death penalty, wearing glasses, and women attorneys

August 21st, 2018|

We often find things we want to pass along but about which we do not wish to write an entire blog post. Here’s another installment of things you really (maybe, kind of) want to know.  So, who is trusted more? Scientists or the government?  You have probably heard about research on “nudges” (which is the idea that if people are given small informational “nudges” they are likely to modify their behavior). If you read the popular news telling us scientists are in so much credibility trouble—you will be surprised by this one. Scientists are seen as more credible than the

Debunking conspiracy theories (in politics and  elsewhere)

August 16th, 2018|

We like PSMag for their ability to summarize scientific research in clear language. Here’s an article written by Nathan Collins that offers some insights from a researcher who has ideas on how to get some people who are conspiracy theorists to consider another perspective.  Apparently there is a growing body of research supporting the idea that we can take a direct approach to debunking conspiracy beliefs. Perhaps it is all the focus on “fake news” and the sheer numbers of people now fact-checking when they see a somewhat unbelievable story. Whatever has caused this to happen—it is good news for

Corporate litigation: The halo effect, the halo tax,  and the home court advantage

August 14th, 2018|

Today we have some recent research examining what happens when prestigious companies are sued for employment discrimination. A good reputation is something most organizations strive for, but in employment litigation, a good reputation can be a double-edged sword.  This research was completed at the Kellogg School of Northwestern University and the researchers found some contradictory findings on the effect of prestige for companies sued for employment discrimination. The researchers generated a list of low and high status companies from Fortune’s Most Admirable Companies list between 1998 and 2008 and gave them a score between 0 and 10. They also examined

Simple Jury Persuasion: Knee jerk opinionatedness–“I believe it, so it is truer” 

August 2nd, 2018|

Recently, we added a question to the end of our supplemental jury questionnaire used for pretrial research that essentially asks jurors if evidence or what “feels true” is more important to them in making important decisions. Despite the simple nature of that question (which we found buried in some social sciences research we read), it often turns out it can help us in our work.  A new study tells us (yet again) how what Stephen Colbert made famous as “truthiness”, has become increasingly important in decision-making. If we believe it, it is “truthier”. To investigate this issue, researchers in Israel

What moral reasons do parents have for avoiding vaccinations for their children? 

July 31st, 2018|

0Here in the US, we have heard stories about unvaccinated children with measles going to an amusement park and exposing others with fragile health to measles. How big of a problem is the anti-vaccination movement in the US? CNN offers these statistics (courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control):  95% of children in kindergarten have had vaccines for preventable diseases, including two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. But that figure is not spread evenly across the country. 82% of children in Colorado have had the two-dose MMR vaccine that doctors say is necessary. In Mississippi, virtually

In the United States, “hate is geographical” 

July 12th, 2018|

We try to keep up with how jurors in various locales vary in attitudes and beliefs. Sometimes that leads us to unlikely places such as a professional publication titled the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Today’s article is written by a group of geographers and focuses on how hate groups vary geographically with heavier concentrations in some areas of the US than others. The catch is that if you expect most of the heavier concentrations to be in the deep South—the times they are a’changin. While concentrations are much heavier in the eastern half of the US, there

Gender Balance in Workplace Management? Yes, it really does matter!

July 10th, 2018|

We came across this study and thought it was a perfect example of how paying attention to gender balance in management can positively influence your corporate bottom line. And, this infographic summary communicates a LOT in a short period of time. So rather than writing it out for you, take a look at how one company has found out about the positive benefits of gender balance in management.  We’ve written a lot about bias and the importance of maintaining an awareness of bias if you want to manage effectively. If you want to read more about Sodexo’s experience, take a

When it comes to gender bias, judges have it too 

July 5th, 2018|

If you are not a judge, this finding may not surprise you. Based on this research, some judges will likely be surprised (or simply think the research is faulty) and others will nod in agreement. The researcher makes this statement:  “Judges tend to believe that their vast amount of legal training and logical thinking skills make them immune to these mistakes. This research is showing that judges are not as immune as maybe they think they are.” For many of us (including many sitting judges), bias is incongruent with how we see ourselves. Yet, we are all socialized and acculturated