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Simple Jury Persuasion: Gender And Message Delivery And Framing, by Douglas Keene, The Jury Room Blog


Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a ‘silver bullet’ with which to gild their courtroom presentations. Today’s research offers a glimpse at this holy grail . . . as long as your listeners are either all male or all female. But fear not, there is also something very useful embedded in the results that allows you to improve the receptivity of a mixed gender audience to your message.

Researchers wanted to see if varying message delivery and message framing would make a difference in how the same message was perceived by male and female listeners. In other words, they wondered if you need to communicate differently to a male audience than to a female audience. They examined 2 kinds of message delivery and 2 kinds of message framing in a study focused on being physically fit.

To explore this, they created four (45 seconds long) videos about the importance of regular exercise (a male actor played the part of narrator ‘Dr. Linton,’ a health expert). The messages on the video were delivered in either an eager or a vigilant style and with either a gain or loss framing. (That means there were four versions of the video:  eager delivery style with either a gain message or a loss message or a vigilant style with either a gain message or a loss message.) . . .