The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)

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

March 20th, 2017|

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 is the “(irrational) added value” we place on things just because they belong to us and not to someone else. So, today’s research was described over at BPS Digest (a reliable source for accurate summaries), and it’s a bit odd. For the sake of brevity,

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

March 17th, 2017|

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 fruit illustrating the post. Just don’t do it: How bringing up politics ruins your workplace You probably know this already since many people say their Facebook feeds are a toxic combination of politics and rage these days. So. Bringing up politics up at work is

So…how do you see or hear “smart” in voir dire? 

March 15th, 2017|

After we published that “molecular genetics overlap” post showing curiosity is found in smart people—one of our readers asked exactly how you “see” smart during voir dire. The question was posed on Twitter but the answer is not exactly expressed in 140 characters—so we’re doing it here. Among other things, we made these comments in that post: All we need to do is look to see who is smart and we will then know we can select curious jurors (while considering whether our client’s case benefits from higher levels of intelligence and curiosity). And, as we often say to our

Identifying deception when the witness wears a face-covering veil

March 13th, 2017|

In 2014, we wrote about research investigating how people felt when a witness wore a veil such as some forms of a hijab or a niqab. Here were some of the findings we described in that research. We’ve written a number of times about bias against Muslims. But here’s a nice article with an easy to incorporate finding on how to reduce bias against your female client who wears a Muslim head-covering. (In case you have forgotten, we’ve already written about head-coverings for the Muslim man.) The graphic illustrating this post shows the variety of head-coverings Muslim women might wear

Facts [still] don’t matter: the 2017 edition 

March 10th, 2017|

When we began this blog in 2009, the reality that facts don’t matter was one of the first posts we wrote. We wrote again about this reality back in 2011. And we’ve written about it several times since then so…here we go again! In this new era of fake news and fake news allegations, we’ve seen a surge in the number of “fact checkers” employed by the media to verify accuracy of statements made by people in this country’s leadership. Some think the publicizing of fact checking can be effective against the spread of misinformation. New research (conducted during the

A secret weapon for voir dire: Smart people are more curious

March 8th, 2017|

Back in October of 2016, we wrote about a paper by the Cultural Cognition Project on assessing “scientific curiosity”. Here is some of what we said then about what Kahan and his colleagues found by measuring scientific curiosity: “What they found was that participants who scored higher on the curiosity scale were more likely to choose the story that would disconfirm their preexisting beliefs (that is, it would surprise them) and the participants enjoyed that process of surprise.” We concluded that 2016 post this way: From a litigation advocacy perspective, the challenge is to identify  jurors who are curious and

A changing USA—“Normal America is not a small town  of white people” and more…

March 6th, 2017|

When facing a panel of prospective jurors for voir dire and jury selection it is important that you update your perceptions of who these people are in 2017. It is hard to keep up with change and to replace our outdated ideas of “how North America is” but here is some data to help you do just that. These facts are wonderful perspective changers and we hope some of them will surprise you (since that will help you remember and update your perceptions of those potential jurors). “Normal America is not a small town of white people” The people over

Stereotypes, rudeness, sleepy (and punitive) judges,  assumptions and freak airplane accidents

March 3rd, 2017|

Time for another combination post of various things you will want to know that will improve your conversation skills and general life knowledge. We are not saying that it will make your hair shiny or inspire your kids to do their homework. Kernels of wisdom, that’s what they are, in truth. Talking to your kids about stereotypes The Conversation website has a brief and very good article on how to talk to your children in order to combat stereotypes. They address the best ways to speak to kids at different ages, how to combat generalizations kids might make about whole

So maybe it doesn’t pay to be beautiful  

March 1st, 2017|

Or at least, maybe there is no “ugliness penalty” if you are not beautiful. We’ve written a number of times here about the many benefits given to those who are seen as beautiful or attractive. This paper debunks the stereotype and says that salary goes beyond appearance and individual differences matter too. The researchers used a nationally representative US data set (from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health aka “Add Health”) with “precise and repeated measures of physical attractiveness”. In this data set, are researcher-ratings of physical attractiveness of all participants (on a five-point scale) at four different points

Juror questions during trial, alibis, police uniforms, and fMRIs and lie detection

February 24th, 2017|

Here’s another combination post offering multiple tidbits for you to stay up-to-date on new research and publications that have emerged on things you need to know. We tend to publish these when we’ve read a whole lot more than we can blog about and want to make sure you don’t miss the information. Juror questions during trial and the prevalence of electronic and social media research The National Center on State Courts just published a study authored by a judge in the Pennsylvania Lawyer on whether allowing jurors to ask questions during trial will help resolve issues of electronic and