Archive | Magnus Insights

Cars and Errands and Challenges

The life – work balance thing hit home again this past week when, during a period during when our work load is high, that is, we’re busy and Melissa’s schedule is very full, “life” intervened. First, my car acted up – turns out it needed a software upgrade (pretty hard to imagine) – but it […]

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As usual, David’s post has reminded me of song lyrics. In “Beautiful Boy,” by John Lennon, there is a line that says: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. How true! Just when we think we have our lives neatly organized and compartmentalized, something unexpected happens, causing us to adapt to our […]

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Square Peg, Round Hole

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On February 15, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Small Business Success

I’ve previously posted about my recent experiences in the JMI Small Business program and a takeaway I had from one of the sessions is how often small business owners “don’t fit the profile.” The problem relates to how we small business owners so often can’t answer the questions on the form like a “normal person” […]

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Another View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On February 15, 2018

Category: Business Frustrations, Getting the Job Done, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Small Business Success

David and I lament about our inability to answer trite questions in ways that satisfy unimaginative questioners. For example, when a banker or other financial person asks, “How much money do you earn?” I attempt to explain I cannot answer without being asked “When?” because my job is such that, last week, I earned absolutely […]

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Reminder: Juries are Groups, Jurors are Individuals

So, the reader is probably thinking “duh, right, tell me something I didn’t know.” And, I agree, this should be obvious. Except when it isn’t. The beginning of a trial includes voir dire – asking questions of individuals – to determine which ones the attorney wants to include, or more accurately, exclude from a jury. […]

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David may believe it is obvious to most people that there are fundamental differences between juries and jurors, however, I must disagree with this conclusion. I find that most people, as well as most attorneys, rarely consider the group dynamics that are an integral aspect of jury behavior. In fact, I will go as far […]

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Defensive attribution

Defensive attribution has been widely researched by social psychologists since the 1960s. Defensive attribution is the bias, present in most people, that leads to blaming a victim of misfortune for his/her role in the misfortune. Among the first research studies on the topic of defensive attribution was a study that found accident victims were perceived […]

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Though I have taken graduate psychology courses, I have certainly benefited from the litigation specific tutoring and examples Melissa has provided me, and our clients, over many years. I recall one of the first times defensive attribution raised its ugly head and had to be explained to a client on the fly. Our client, a […]

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A Numbers Game

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On February 1, 2018

Category: Jury Behavior, Jury Deliberations, Litigation Tips, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, Psychology, Trial Consultants, Trial Consulting

It happened last week, as it has many times before. “It,” in this case, is the random outcome of a mock jury project that surprises the clients most of all. The scenario was as follows: we were engaged to conduct mock jury research using 4 panels of mock jurors to deliberate to a verdict. The […]

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I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of mock jurors deliberate and, although I do not know in advance what their decisions will be, I know enough to realize people are not always who they appear to be. I have spent countless time watching and listening to people make decisions, including mock jury deliberations […]

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Impression management

In this series of posts, I will discuss social psychological concepts that operate in everyday life, as well as within the context of my work as a litigation/trial consultant. Some of the concepts I will cover have become well known among laypersons, that is, people who do not have an advanced degree in psychology, while […]

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This series of posts capture many of the scientific concepts at play in persuasion and human decision making. As our world largely revolves around civil litigation, issues like impression management are factors in all of our work with the fact finders – juries, mediators, arbitrators, or judges as well as with the persuaders – the […]

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I like my plants better than you

David frequently remarks that, for a social psychologist, I sometimes don’t seem too fond of people! I reply to his observation by reminding him I have had the opportunity to observe far too many people through a one way mirror, such that I know how people conduct themselves when they don’t realize anyone is watching! […]

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I’m seeing a pattern here. Melissa prefers those people, animals, plants and things which bring her happiness and pleasure. Those which don’t, well, she’s honest enough to differentiate. And, I can attest to her seriousness of caring for the plants. For many people, me included, a focus on plant well being is not a natural […]

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Portable Food/Defensive Eating

It harkens back to my Boy Scout, “Be Prepared” days, but this topic of portable food is another of those basic, seemingly common sense items, that may not be so common “sensical” to everyone. The concept is simple. Schedules change, flights get delayed, the judge decides to work through lunch, the research facility is behind […]

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During my first interview for a job as a trial consultant, which took place in Manhattan, the experienced consultant who interviewed me asked if I was aware that working as a trial consultant required “defensive eating.” Maybe because I was awed at the sight of the Manhattan skyline from high above 57th Street, or uncomfortable […]

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I like my cat better than you

I like my cat better than you. There, I said it! Regardless of who “you” are, in all likelihood, I will say, in all truthfulness, that I prefer my cat to almost anyone, including “you.” The first time David became painfully aware that I am not joking when I say this was soon after we […]

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Melissa is a cat lady, probably not as crazy as some, but a cat lady nonetheless. I did pass the Ziggy test. And, he was fun – entertaining. I knew him for a little more than ½ of his life and have many fond memories. Prior to meeting, and living with him, I was not […]

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Horn Blowing

Horn Blowing is a topic I’ll always associate with the late, great, Buddy Payne, Esq. Buddy was one of the top trial lawyers, anywhere, ever, and was from the plaintiffs’ old school in Miami (or as he said “Mia ma” – even though he was from Virginia). After he retired, Buddy coached Melissa and me […]

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I will begin my part of this post by thanking David for reminding me to write a post dedicated to Buddy Payne. Buddy taught David and me a lot of things, most important among them, that if we don’t tell potential clients about how wonderful we are, they might never realize it. Our clients are […]

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