Archive | Psychology

Strangers always talk to me

A Point of View

Melissa Pigott, Ph.D.

On July 16, 2019

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Jury Consultants, Life Outside of Work, Psychology, Trial Consultants, Work-Life

There is something about me that makes strangers talk to me. I can be just about anywhere, minding my own business, not making eye contact with anyone, when, all of a sudden, someone strikes up a conversation with me. I recently had lunch with a client and, when we were leaving the restaurant and walking […]

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Another View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 16, 2019

Category: Getting Through Life and Work, Jury Consultants, Life Outside of Work, Psychology, Trial Consultants, Work-Life

I’ve seen this happen, including the Santa incident in Sydney. He had with him Mrs. Santa, and a human size Christmas tree, but it was the “Bad Santa” who paused in greeting people in the market we were visiting to make suggestive comments to Melissa. Another incident I will never forget was a long time […]

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Confirmation Bias, Part 2

In thinking about my prior post on confirmation bias, I thought about one aspect of being hired as a professional trial consultant. It happens that I recently saw an announcement of a bar association seminar on do it yourself (DIY) mock trials. I know that mock trials are often expensive when conducted by a qualified […]

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I’ll begin my part of this topic by saying that, if social psychologists, who study confirmatory bias and are, therefore, presumed to be experts on it, are subject to confirmation bias in their decision making, then almost anyone can engage in this type of biased information processing. Attorneys may be more educated and more intelligent […]

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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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Common Sense (fill in the blank)

A growing pet peeve of mine is the use of phrases like “Common Sense” as in “Common Sense Legislation” or “Common Sense Rules.” (Fill in the blank after common sense with immigration reform, gun control, tax reform, health care reform, etc. and you’ll get an idea of the topics I’m thinking about when writing this.) […]

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I’m not sure what sparked David’s sudden interest in common sense. Many people I know believe they possess common sense, defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts.” Upon close examination of this, dictionary, definition of common sense, I will agree that many people have a simple […]

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Pretty Good for a Girl

Recently, David and I attended a concert performed by Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers. (If the reader has not heard of Mindi Abair, I strongly urge you to become familiar with this excellent musician, who, like David and me, is a Florida native.) In addition to enjoying the fantastic musical experience, I was impressed with […]

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I thought the Mindi Abair show was great! She has a tremendous stage presence, sings and plays the sax wonderfully, and, with her dynamite smile, was very photogenic (see my photos at www.dhfphotoworks.com – – go to the Rock & Roll gallery). Though I was familiar with her music, I was not aware of Her […]

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Same as it Never Was

With apologies in advance to David Byrne and others who wrote the song Same as it Ever Was, and which I recently heard, I was prompted to change “ever” to “never” for this post. Better stated, perhaps in the context of this post, it is perhaps Sane as it Never Was. As has been written […]

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Everyone experiences dementia, and other psychological maladies, differently. In addition, families and friends of people with psychological problems react to the changes in their loved one’s behavior in their own, unique, ways. There are no two people who are alike and this truism applies to coping with mental health issues in oneself and one’s family. […]

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Feed the lawyers

In a previous post, David and I discussed the challenges we have faced with some of our clients, who did not think we should provide food and beverages to the mock jurors and other research participants who work with us on a case. Sad, but true. Somewhat more surprisingly, we have had other clients who […]

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I will never forget having to contend with the feed the lawyers issue, but as with the mock jurors, I remember at least 2 scenarios. One involved governmental entities which, as with the mock jurors, would not pay for meals, for anyone. This happened more than one time and, on one occasion, the creative client […]

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Feed the mock jurors

Conducting mock jury research, or other research involving human participants, involves many things unrelated to collecting data. Food and drinks are an important part of the work we do on behalf of our clients. Not only do we compensate our research participants for their time and effort in attending our mock juries and focus groups, […]

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I’ve previously written about my experiences as a photographer and having inconsiderate clients who did not think to provide me with a dinner on a job that lasted 6 to 8 hours (see Feed the Photographer February 2019). The amazing thing to us, with regard to the mock jurors, is how something like lunch or […]

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Chris’ Dad

This morning I learned of the death of the father of one of Melissa’s lifelong friends. Chris and Melissa have known each other since childhood. Melissa provided guidance to Chris in recent years as he and his family dealt with health and end of life issues related to his father. These included those issues related […]

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The power of human touch cannot be underestimated. Pioneering psychological research, conducted by Dr. Harry Harlow and his colleagues, beginning in the 1930s, established that physical contact is an essential part of human development. Although Dr. Harlow’s studies were primarily focused on the establishment of a bond between mothers and their offspring, it is well […]

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Confabulation

I recently learned a new word, confabulation. I learned it in the context of a memory test I observed. The test was to listen to a short story about a woman who was grocery shopping, lost her wallet, couldn’t pay at checkout, then a little girl found the wallet and called the woman who lost […]

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Just as David makes a musical reference, followed by an apology, to Carly Simon, I will first reference, then apologize to, the great band, The Traveling Wilburys. (For the reader who does not know, the Traveling Wilburys was a “super group,” that is, a band comprised of immensely famous musicians. Its members were George Harrison, […]

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