DATE: September 11, 2012
TO: Legal Argument Creation Team
SUBJECT: Creating Effective Arguments Meeting
Please attend our meeting regarding new methods for creating effective arguments, scheduled for September 15, 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. in Room 125. Prior to the meeting please review the following articles:
- Using Causal Persuasive Arguments to Change Beliefs and Teach New Information: The Mediating Role of Explanation Availability and Evaluation Bias in the Acceptance of Knowledge by Morgan P. Slusher and Craig A. Anderson
- Cognitive and Neuroscience Influence of Text Cohesion on the Persuasive Power of Expository Text by Kaakinen et. al.
The article by Slusher and Anderson discusses the effectiveness of creating causal arguments. Causal arguments are arguments that explain why something exists rather than trying to prove that something exists. Their experiment shows that people are more likely to believe an argument that casual contact does not transmit the AIDS virus if those people are told the biological reasons why, rather than if the arguer simply tries to use statistics of people who have not contracted AIDS from casual contact.
The article by Kaakinen et. al. Explains the importance of creating cohesive text within arguments. Their experiment demonstrates that when an audience reads (or in our case, hears) arguments that fit together logically and clearly, the audience is more likely to accept the arguments are valid. Also the authors show that it is important that the arguments remain neutral as regards bias.
At our meeting we will discuss how to apply these principles when creating opening and closing arguments in the courtroom, particularly at jury trials. Our arguments will be more effective if we can cohesively explain why a crime did or did not take place rather than only trying to prove that a crime did or did not take place. This method of creating arguments will win us more cases and help us to be more effective at administering justice.
This group of employees is already an effective team and I am looking forward to the even higher level of success that this argument creating method will instigate. Thank you for taking the time to read this memo and for the time you will spend reading the additional articles.