The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)

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Do you come across as a jerk? Here’s how to stop 

August 16th, 2017|

Researchers actually study the factors that go into making others see you as a jerk—and help us figure out how to avoid those behaviors. Today’s research is from an international team of researchers in the Netherlands, the US and the UK. Their work is interesting to consider from the perspective of witness preparation of the difficult witness. According to the researchers, most of us work to manage the impressions others have of us and some of us do it quite well. Others fail miserably, however, and these researchers think that failure stems from making poor choices on which impression management

Consider the source: Even when evaluating data on  hate crimes

August 14th, 2017|

The U.S. Department of Justice defines hate crime as “the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.” While the documentation and awareness of hate crimes is essential, we also need to understand the differences in the numbers we see reported on hate crimes, increases and decreases for specific types of hate crimes, and what those shifts in numbers actually mean. We often see comments about one kind of hate crime being more “important” than another due to a spike in frequency. Today’s article points

Harassment & disruption even for those women at the top of their  professions

July 31st, 2017|

Women often think that “one day” they will garner the professional respect and standing that will stop men from interrupting them when the woman is speaking. Today we are presenting two studies of women who’ve reached heights in their professions which most women (and most men for that matter) will never achieve. Both studies tell us the fantasy of speaking without interruption is likely untrue. Harassment of female “Space Scientists Despite all the professed desire to increase the number of women in STEM fields, the working environment experienced by women scientists continues to be hostile. A recent survey of astronomers

The Police & Law Enforcement Scale:  Measuring Police-Based Discrimination Experiences of Black Men

July 28th, 2017|

We mentioned this scale last week in a combination post but decided it deserved a post of its own as with other scales we’ve featured here in the past. You are likely aware of the terms “driving while black” or “flying while brown” and this scale means to document that experience of discrimination and accompanying health impact. Despite a plethora of research on general stress and race-related stress—the researchers developing this scale say they “are not aware of any psychometric instruments that specifically focus on assessing Black men’s experiences with law enforcement discrimination”. In order to develop a valid scale,

Are you a non-white or female manager? Be careful before you promote diversity efforts! 

July 26th, 2017|

This is a really disturbing and yet, so intuitively predictable article about what happens when you are a Black, Brown, and/or Female manager in your workplace. While past research has blamed the high achiever for acting as gatekeepers and keeping other minority members out of positions of leadership—today’s research has a more empathic explanation for why that gatekeeping happens. Essentially, these researchers say that successful minority managers “know it could spell disaster for their own careers” if they support diverse candidates for management positions. Regardless of how many male or White managers promote the candidates most similar to themselves, it

Kitty Genovese, the ‘bystander effect’, and false confessions 

July 24th, 2017|

Think back to your Psychology 101 class in college or an upper level Social Psychology undergraduate course and you will probably remember the famous case of Kitty Genovese who was murdered in a brutal attack outside her Queens, NY apartment in 1964. According to psychology textbooks, at least 38 onlookers witnessed the attack (mostly through hearing her screams) and yet no one came to her aid or called the police. Psychologists labeled this “seeing but not helping” phenomenon as “the bystander effect”. Essentially, they say, the presence of others observing someone who needs help, diminishes the likelihood that any individual

Know your jurors: NRA members are different than other gun owners 

July 21st, 2017|

In voir dire and jury selection, seemingly small differences can help you make decisions that are good for your case facts. Recently, the Pew Research Center put out a survey showing that gun owners who are also NRA members have a “unique set of views and experiences”. Pew says something we love—and that we’ve said for decades—demographics don’t really help to choose a jury. “While the demographic profile of NRA members is similar to that of other gun owners, their political views, the way they use their firearms, and their attitudes about gun policy differ significantly from gun owners who

Simple Jury Persuasion: Combatting mistrust  in science [Part 2]

July 19th, 2017|

On July 10, 2017, we published the first part of this post on combatting mistrust in science. As we continued to read, we decided there was more for you to know about this topic so here’s a bit more information. We wanted to share a couple of ways scientists shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to maintaining credibility. First, they think themselves more rational than the rest of us and second, their over-the-top advocacy for science backfires by making them seem like “just another partisan group”. In research speak, this is an example of scientists being only human,

Cross-examining shrinks, rural vs. urban America, pay & gender, black men & the police

July 17th, 2017|

Perhaps we should lower our standards on what sources are good for an entire blog post as these combination posts seem to increasingly inhabit our blog. We simply run across a lot of things that we want you to know about but we don’t want to repeat what you can find elsewhere. So, sit back and click some links and see some of the stuff we thought too interesting to pass up! Cross-examining a psychiatrist or a psychologist (aka shrinks) Much has been written on the intricacies of cross-examining mental health professionals and a quick internet search will give you

We speak in higher pitches to high status people to show submission 

July 12th, 2017|

I was in graduate school in the early 1980s when Carol Gilligan’s book (In a Different Voice) came out and we thought we were quite amusing when we always voiced the title in a high-pitched tone. Thirty-five years later, we have research telling us we really may pitch our voices differently when speaking to someone we perceive as having higher status. Today’s researchers wondered if how dominant or prestigious the person to whom one was speaking was perceived to be, would influence voice pitch in undergraduates. They planned a simulated interview task and wrote up brief descriptions of the photos