Psychology’s Perspective on Litigation

Psychology’s Perspective on Litigation

Although psychologists have been consulting with attorneys on all aspects of litigation since the 1970s, there remain some attorneys who are skeptical about what the field of psychology has to offer trial lawyers and litigators.  Typically, once an attorney has worked with Magnus Research Consultants, his/her skepticism has turned into a new found appreciation of the benefits of jury/trial consulting, often accompanied by the reaction, “Wow, I wish I had retained Magnus sooner or on other cases, or on every case I have tried.”  While nothing can substitute for one’s personal experiences using a highly skilled, Ph.D. psychologist to conduct premeditation or pretrial jury research, this article will summarize a few examples of psychology’s perspective on litigation.

1.  Psychologists are highly trained observers of human nature.  We psychologists really listen to what is being said as well as how it is being said.  Attorneys are often surprised at how much can be learned by keen, scientific analysis of one’s surroundings.

2.  Due to a background in science, psychologists offer a detached objectivity that is a valuable counterbalance to attorneys’ advocacy.  The end result is that our mutual clients receive the best of both worlds, when it comes to developing strategies for effective resolution of a case.

3.  Social psychologists, in particular, are experts in the way people behave in groups, as opposed to on an individual basis.  When deselecting jurors, there is no substitute for a social psychologist’s expertise in the group dynamics factors than are often more important in determining the verdict than anything else (including the law) pertaining to the case.


Contact Magnus for more information on how psychology can assist you in your next mediation, arbitration, or trial.