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The day after a research day is not a holiday

Conducting mock jury or focus group research is hard work. I am the first to admit this. After working as a jury/trial consultant for 30 years, I know everyone who works with Magnus does a great job, for long hours, in difficult environments, with demanding clients. I get it. I really do. I am right […]

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It is interesting, and often frustrating, working with new hires whose perspectives on work have been formed in less demanding environments, if they have even worked in a professional environment. The day(s) after research are critical for assimilating the data collected, the videos uploaded, and addressing client concerns which emerged on the research day. As […]

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Confirmation Bias, Part 1

I read an article recently about confirmation bias and how it negatively impacts social science research and progress. Confirmation bias is “the tendency to seek, interpret, and create information in ways that verify existing beliefs.” (Brehm & Kassin, Social Psychology, 1989. Which is, coincidentally, a textbook for which Melissa co-authored the Instructor’s Manual and Study […]

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David’s post is interesting to me in two regards. First, it is interesting that David, and not I, chose a topic related to my background as a social psychologist. Second, it is interesting that David focused his post on confirmation bias in social science research. Recently, the media have frequently mentioned confirmation bias, as if […]

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Travel to maximize office/work time

The late Wayne Huizenga, who founded several major corporations and owned several professional sports teams, was quoted in a news article many years ago as endorsing the view that he and his employees traveled on business during the time most people are home, spending time with their families. For Mr. Huizenga, it was more important […]

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There is certainly a balance in scheduling work and work travel to meet the clients’ needs. Without imposing on our employees’ personal time or incurring too much expense related to overtime work, the clients’ needs must come first. And, one thing, I suspect, is not taught at law school is that the life of a […]

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It’s all Marketing

I will admit, I probably have a bias. Both my undergraduate and graduate business degrees had a strong emphasis on marketing. Therefore, in the context of operating a small business, I am cognizant of details that create impressions. As a result, it seems to me that almost everything done in a business is marketing. The […]

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David is right. It’s all marketing. From the manner in which the telephone is answered, to the style of written communication used in an email, to the attire worn in the courtroom (or research facility, during a mock trial), to a brochure, to a website, to the report of research findings prepared for a client, […]

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Dress for Success

In the 1980s, “Dress for Success” was in vogue for people (although, it seems, primarily women) who wanted to achieve status in the world of business. There were books about how to dress for success, as well as seminars and other related products. My (then) employer enrolled me, along with other female executives, in a […]

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Reflecting on the attire of past job candidates who showed their inability to dress for success at their interviews is telling. There was the heavyset young man who showed up for his job interview wearing a shirt (partly untucked), tie and dress slacks, sweating profusely. Okay, it is Florida, and it was hot, but the […]

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Can Do

“Can Do” is one of my mantras. I adopted it from Claudia Taylor Johnson, more commonly known as “Lady Bird” Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Lady Bird Johnson was our First Lady from 1963 to 1969. On her desk was a paperweight with the “Can Do” motto on it, to signify that […]

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It is refreshing when the can do attitude is demonstrated by a stranger, a store clerk, a server in a restaurant, and of course, an employee. I was once complimented by a customer to whom I was selling a camera in a retail setting. I didn’t think I was doing anything special, but he noticed, […]

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Be the Solution

One of the television shows Melissa and I watch is “NCIS.” The story line in a recent episode involved a young man telling about his father, who had died in another episode. The young man said that, before he died, his father attempted to teach him to “be the solution.” That is, don’t be the […]

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“Be the solution” is similar to “Be the change you want to see in the world” (with the latter saying commonly misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi, who, according to multiple sources, never said anything of the sort). The idea behind both of these statements is that, for positive change to occur, one must be an active […]

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First impressions (do matter)

First impressions matter. They really do! Social psychologists who study impression formation and cognitive psychologists who study presentation order effects, such as the primacy effect, agree that information presented early has a greater impact than information presented later. Impression formation has been heavily researched in social psychology since the 1940s, when Solomon Asch conducted a […]

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In thinking about what to write for this post I immediately had a flashback to a time Melissa and I were scheduled to interview a young man who had recently graduated with a master’s degree in psychology and had a wealthy family background. I guess stereotypes were working in his favor, that is, until he […]

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Like “Bull,” but without the Bull

At the time of this writing, there is a popular television show that is loosely based on the life of a well known celebrity who used to work as a jury/trial consultant. The title of the show is “Bull,” and based on what I have seen, the show contains more “bull” than truth. However, because […]

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“Bull” has been fun for Melissa and me in the sense that it provides awareness of the existence of jury consultants. It’s not like we’ve been hiding though. There was at least one episode of “L.A. Law” portraying a trial consultant in a not too favorable manner. And, then there was OJ. Much of the […]

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Small Business Ownership: Always On

One of the things I do when writing a blog post is to categorize it so that one can search for similar topics on our website. The list of categories has grown over time but has always included #WorkLife. Work Life is usually followed by “balance” as in work/life balance, meaning how to manage one’s […]

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Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. Owning a small business with one’s spouse is only for the heartiest of individuals. David and I are fortunate, in that our jobs within our company do not overlap. David has expertise in many areas, such as business management, finances, accounting, etc. that I […]

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