It is always fascinating to me that the same content said in two different ways can have very dramatic effects.  Recently, I found some research that demonstrated such a point in the context of how people perceive criminal acts.  In other words, referring to criminal acts with animalistic descriptors can dramatically affect how people will punish the same criminal act.

Dr. Eduardo Vasquez discovered in his research that juries would award harsher criminal penalties when they were given animalistic descriptions of the crime versus descriptions of the same crime without the descriptive language.  He stated, what I have always believed that “[t]his research is yet another reminder that justice may be influenced by more than the facts of a case.”

For attorneys in trial as well as negotiators, this research is helpful.  It simply points out that depending on the situation, attorneys need to be able to be good story tellers.  They need to be able to evoke images in the mind that will address the listener on a subconscious level if they want to succeed in convincing the jury or the other side to do something that they want.