Monday, June 18, 2012

Ethics opinion on using social media during trial.

The  New York City Bar Association issued a an ethics opinion about the use of  the social media sites of jurors. This is an important topic in this digital age for anyone trying cases.. 
Formal Opinion 2012-02

Friday, June 15, 2012

Interesting research

Reconstruing Intolerance
Abstract Thinking Reduces Conservatives’ Prejudice Against Nonnormative Groups

  1. John F. Dovidio
+Author Affiliations
  1. Yale University
  1. Jamie B. Luguri, Department of Psychology, Yale University, P. O. Box 208205, New Haven, CT 06520-8205 E-mail:


Myrdal (1944) described the “American dilemma” as the conflict between abstract national values (“liberty and justice for all”) and more concrete, everyday prejudices. We leveraged construal-level theory to empirically test Myrdal’s proposition that construal level (abstract vs. concrete) can influence prejudice. We measured individual differences in construal level (Study 1) and manipulated construal level (Studies 2 and 3); across these three studies, we found that adopting an abstract mind-set heightened conservatives’ tolerance for groups that are perceived as deviating from Judeo-Christian values (gay men, lesbians, Muslims, and atheists). Among participants who adopted a concrete mind-set, conservatives were less tolerant of these nonnormative groups than liberals were, but political orientation did not have a reliable effect on tolerance among participants who adopted an abstract mind-set. Attitudes toward racial out-groups and dominant groups (e.g., Whites, Christians) were unaffected by construal level. In Study 3, we found that the effect of abstract thinking on prejudice was mediated by an increase in concerns about fairness

Red Mind, Blue Mind: Are There Any Real Independents? - Association for Psychological Science

Red Mind, Blue Mind: Are There Any Real Independents? - Association for Psychological Science

Interesting Article

A Choice Mind-Set Increases the Acceptance and Maintenance of Wealth Inequality
Krishna Savani1 and Aneeta Rattan2
1Management Division, Columbia Business School, and 2Department of Psychology, Stanford University
Psychological Science
XX(X) 1–9
© The Author(s) 2012
Reprints and permission: DOI: 10.1177/0956797611434540

Wealth inequality has significant psychological, physiological, societal, and economic costs. In six experiments, we investigated how seemingly innocuous, culturally pervasive ideas can help maintain and further wealth inequality. Specifically, we tested whether the concept of choice, which is deeply valued in American society, leads Americans to act in ways that perpetuate wealth inequality. Thinking in terms of choice, we argue, activates the belief that life outcomes stem from personal agency, not societal factors, and thereby leads people to justify wealth inequality. The results showed that highlighting the concept of choice makes people less disturbed by facts about existing wealth inequality in the United States, more likely to underestimate the role of societal factors in individuals’ successes, less likely to support the redistribution of educational resources, and less likely to support raising taxes on the rich—even if doing so would help resolve a budget deficit crisis. These findings indicate that the culturally valued concept of choice contributes to the maintenance of wealth inequality.