Trial Tip: Actuarial-Based Testimony: Strategize for Jurors’ Fast and Slow Thinking

Vol. 14 No. 2

John G. McCabe is a cognitive psychologist and consultant with DecisionQuest in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jmccabe@decisionquest.com.

As the old joke goes, “What is an actuary?” “It’s an accountant who can’t stand the excitement.” For litigators who have seen jurors’ eyes glaze over when receiving actuarial-based testimony, the issue becomes: Why does actuarial testimony seem to lack persuasive power, relative to more experience-based testimony?

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