Cogent Legal

Statistical Proof that Legal Visuals Work to Persuade Jurors

Powerpoint and speakerLegal visuals work. We thought so, and now we have the statistical rigor of a controlled experiment to prove it.

In a study comparing opening arguments delivered with and without simple PowerPoint visuals, mock jurors were persuaded more often when the slides were used. The study found effects on persuading jurors, recollection of evidence and perceptions of the advocates. With respect to persuading jurors, the study’s authors wrote in the summary:

“In general, defendant’s responsibility was judged to be greater when plaintiffs used PowerPoint slides than when they did not and less when defendant used PowerPoint slides than when it did not. Furthermore, PowerPoint’s impact was greatest when its use was unequal [only one side using PowerPoint].”

Below, we’ll look more closely at the study and what it teaches us about using visuals in court. (more…)

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