Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jury Expert Article

Posted by Benson

An interesting article has been published in The Jury Expert called "Narrative Persuasion in Legal Settings: What's the Story."

I think it is a very interesting article and well worth having a look at.  The article discusses a study performed by a professor at my alma matter, The Ohio State University, named Phil Mazzocco.  While the study on which the article is based was preliminary, it explored the psychological mechanisms of narrative persuasion and compared them to those involved in rhetorical persuasion.

The article postulates that understanding the mechanisms of narrative persuasion has the potential to inform trial strategy.  I found this interesting because, as many of you know, our firm has been investigating this issue on a practical level for many years now.  The concept of narrative has been steadily becoming more mainstream in the context of trial strategy, and I think it is exciting that we're starting to see these questions being explored by academia.  I think we can only benefit from further developing our collective understanding of the way people interpret, identify with, and internalize information.  I'm going to be watching Dr. Mazzocco's work going forward and I certainly hope his research encourages others delve more deeply into the mechanisms of narrative persuasion.

I also wrote a commentary on the article, part of which discusses the ways that the authors believe this research may inform trial strategy.  You can find my commentary at the end of the article after the list of works cited.