Archive | Jury Research

Output = Effort x Ability

Social psychologists, as well as other types of psychologists, have studied achievement motivation for many decades. In goal directed situations, there are several ways in which someone can achieve the desired outcome: ability, effort, and luck. Success and failure also depend, of course, on the difficulty of the task being undertaken. When considered together, these […]

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I clearly remember that early employee to whom Melissa referred.  How could I ever forget her?  She tried so hard; she really gave it her all.  But, often, that was not enough.  This made it difficult to manage her without deflating her sense of self.  Reacting to “I tried so hard,” by pointing out her […]

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Do You Still Need to Practice?

Recently, I remarked to my bass guitar teacher, Phill Fest, that many of my friends question my need to take bass lessons, due to the fact I have been playing the bass guitar for over 20 years. (This was the subject of a previous post, in which I mentioned that, although I have been playing […]

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I took piano lessons as a child, but fishing seemed much more fun than piano, so I didn’t play piano long!  But, call it what you want, practice, playing, fishing, getting better, and staying strong at anything takes time and effort.  I’ve written about Dr. Fran Kinne before. She started playing piano at age 3 […]

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Wardrobe Malfunction

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On June 3, 2021

Category: Business Travel, Careers, Getting the Job Done, Jury Research, Magnus, Magnus Insights, Magnus Research, RoadWarrior, Travel, Trial Consulting

The most famous wardrobe malfunction was in 2004 at the Super Bowl halftime show and involved Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. While it later became apparent that this was a planned incident, not a malfunction, it sure got the world’s attention. But, that is not what this post is about; it is about more mundane […]

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The recent loss of our employee’s pants is the latest in a long string of similar incidents among Magnus’ staff. We have experienced numerous wardrobe malfunctions, all of which are now rather humorous but which were, at the time they happened, pseudo crises, especially for the person with the malfunction. Here is a list of […]

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High Anxiety

Magnus’ clients are attorneys involved in high stakes litigation. Whether they represent the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s), they are under a great deal of pressure to get the best result for their clients.  Even when they don’t show it, we know this is a high stress situation.  Putting together a mock jury research project is intense.  […]

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David’s title, “High Anxiety,” instantly reminded me of the 1977 Mel Brooks movie of the same name.  However, that’s where the similarity both begins and ends.  While Mel Brooks’ movie was a farcical comedy, Magnus’ cases are anything but comedic.  Many of our cases are tragic and all of them involve high stakes.  The attorneys […]

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The Major League

My family is a baseball family. My dad, the late Park T. Pigott, Sr. played baseball, coached baseball, and generally speaking, lived much of his life for baseball. I am not usually fond of sports analogies, however, recent experiences with clients of Magnus Research Consultants have reminded me of baseball. Almost all of Magnus’ clients […]

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This minor leaguer experience was one of the strangest situations we have had in years.  We had been, to keep up with the baseball analogy, “scouted” by the end client (that is the entity/person paying our bill).  Our ability to work with the lawyer was limited until that scouting was completed.  Admittedly, this process was […]

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Retainers

Call it a deposit; call it a retainer. Magnus doesn’t start work without one (except in rare circumstances beyond the scope of this post). We need money, we want money; importantly, other people want money. We learned, the hard way, that clients need to “show us the money.” One of our first cases blew up […]

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No one works for free.  By definition, work is performed in exchange for compensation.  (The obvious exceptions, such as slavery, human trafficking, etc., are beyond the scope of this post.)  The fact that one of the largest law firms in the U.S.A., as well as its client, one of the largest corporations in the world, […]

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Heuristical thinking

Biases and heuristics often, but not always, go hand in hand. While bias is attributed to the absence of reflective thought, leading to limitations in judgment, heuristics are used intentionally when making inferences. Heuristics are common sense reasoning strategies employed by laypersons. They are “shortcuts” that accelerate the decision making process. Heuristics may or may […]

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Magnus’ reports often contain a section entitled “Heuristics” and, when I’m showing our sample report to prospective clients, I usually have to explain what a heuristic is and why it is important.  I typically explain that heuristics are the ways that the jurors relate to a case – in their own language.  Whether it is […]

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Templates – Creating and Using

We spent some time recently updating the templates we use at Magnus. From day 1, I’ve worked on developing templates and, over the years, modifying them to keep up with changes as necessary. We have templates for reports, for contracts, and countless forms that help us keep track of our work. The only thing standardized […]

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David likes forms and templates more than anyone I have ever known.  When we are in the process of developing a new service, David routinely advocates for using a template to ensure things are standardized.  Although all of my questionnaires are custom designed to assess mock jurors’, survey respondents’, and other research participants’ attitudes about […]

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Hiding behind Email

Prompted by my posts about “different direction” and “ghosting,” a related phenomenon is hiding behind email, especially as a way to deliver bad news. Maybe it is just me, but it seems a matter of professionalism and fairness that, if one asks someone else to do something like prepare a proposal for consulting services, the […]

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I love to discuss, and write about, etiquette.  As a social psychologist, I am keenly aware of the social norms involved in etiquette, which involves far more than knowing which fork to use.  There is a certain etiquette involved in communicating with others, in both professional and personal settings.  This includes “responding in kind” to […]

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No One Has Ever Said They Wish Their Jury Research Had Been Later

In almost 30 years of owning and operating Magnus Research Consultants, David and I have been fortunate to have few complaints from clients. When there have been complaints, they have been of the following type: (1) “Your report is too long and comprehensive; it took too long for me to read”; (2) ”The charts summarizing […]

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This topic is salient because I had the discussion again recently, “What is your lead time for conducting research? My client wants to put it off as long as possible, because maybe they can settle…”  I patiently explained that the ramp up period, once we’ve provided a proposal, agreed on the research design, gotten approval […]

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