Archive | Trial Consulting

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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Chains or Local Restaurants?

On this dimension, I have observed that people fall into 1 of 2 categories. There are people who prefer large, national chain restaurants over local restaurants and those, like me, who prefer local restaurants over chains, for the most part. Perhaps I learned this from my Dad, who was always on the road during his […]

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No offense to the readers of this post who like chain restaurants, however, as a rule, I loathe them. I will go out of my way to avoid eating at a chain restaurant whenever possible. I prefer to patronize local eateries wherever I travel, both for business and pleasure. There are exceptions, of course, including […]

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Jet Lag

Travel for business can be strenuous; so can personal travel, for that matter. And time zone crossing travel just adds to that stress. Having made 3 trips to Australia, I know about time zone crossing. Melissa and I don’t do international trips for work, but crossing even 1 or 2 or 3 time zones across […]

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Believe me: I know all about jet lag.  Early in my career as a trial consultant, I lived in Atlanta, but worked in Boston, for a company based in Los Angeles, where I had to go on a frequent basis.  In any given week, I “commuted” from Atlanta to Boston on Monday, then traveled with […]

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Look it up

These days, information awaits us almost everywhere. Merely by typing a name, phrase, or word into any cell phone’s search engine, one can find out a plethora of information about that person, corporation, town, entity, etc. A couple of years ago, I had a “creepy feeling” about one of Magnus’ vendors. I typed his name […]

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Before there were millennials, I sometimes turned to my younger brother, Stephen, and asked him questions to look up somewhere. If the subject was of interest to him, on sharks or alligators and rock & roll, for example, he’d be my information source. That was after my days with an outdated World Book Encyclopedia at […]

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Fake Surveys

There is a trend in recent years for every purchase, service encounter, or dining experience to end with a customer satisfaction survey. As useful as feedback can be, it is, obvious to me that many of these “surveys” are better called “fake surveys.” That is, they lack objectivity and they lack validity. As an example, […]

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Fake surveys, like fake news, are a disservice to those who rely on them to make decisions. When I am asked to complete a survey, I complete it honestly, whether or not my answers are positive, neutral, or negative. I don’t understand the purpose of providing feedback unless it is honest, with the goal being […]

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Learn to spell

Not everyone can spell well enough to win a spelling bee. However, almost everyone living in an industrialized society has access to a multitude of resources on spelling. I have known many, many people who thoughtlessly write or type something, never caring enough to ensure their words are spelled correctly, only to say, “I can’t […]

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Building on our reading post, spelling and vocabulary are related in my mind. When one reads, he/she is often exposed to unfamiliar words. And seeing those words surely must help spelling them correctly. But, the point of my post on this topic is that misspelling (and/or using the wrong word – English can get confusing […]

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Multi tasking: When to do it and When not to do it

It seems that, in almost every work environment, people talk about multitasking.  In every field, other than perhaps repetitive assembly lines, it seems that many jobs require doing, or being ready to do, more than 1 task within a given work shift, hour, or minute.  I know mine involves: consulting, marketing, managing staff, strategic planning, […]

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There are times to multitask and times to work on one project until its completion. Think about it. How many of us have ever hired a general contractor or other home renovation person, only to have him work a couple of hours at our house, then leave in the middle of the project to work […]

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Can’t Tell Anyone

In a prior post, I lamented how family and friends can’t relate to what Melissa and I do in our trial consulting business. One of the main reasons for their lack of understanding is the extremely high level of confidentiality involved in our work. In order for trial consultants to be able to effectively help […]

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I will begin my part of this post by saying that David’s and my careers, as well as our business, are anything but traditional. In fact, our lives, in general, are far from traditional. When we have worked with marketing professionals, including those who specialize in social media, they quickly become frustrated when we explain […]

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