A Scientific Weapon for the Courtroom?

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Think the eyes are windows to the soul? If so, you may want to reconsider that notion, as a recently released scientific study challenges commonly held beliefs and intuition regarding the importance of facial expression in conveying emotion. Cues from the body, as it turns out, are more powerful than facial expressions when it comes to perceiving intense emotions, according to the study results.

The findings could have an array of interesting psychological and social communication applications. Although the study did not specifically address litigation or study courtroom emotions, it caused us to ponder: Could these findings prove useful to the way attorneys think about nonverbal communication and the preparation of expert witnesses during the often emotionally-charged moments of trial?

We think the answer may be yes.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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