Dateline: October, 2006, Issue 2

Which influence style is most persuasive for female attorneys?

Influence styles differ in their power. A low power influence style is hesitant, indirect and unassertive, while a high power style is assertive, dominant and direct.

A recent study by Trafalis (2006) found that the influence style that worked best for a female attorney depends on the female attorney's attractiveness and the gender composition of the jury she is trying to persuade. An attractive female attorney using a low power style was more influential with male jurors than with female jurors, while an unattractive female attorney using a high power style was more influential with female jurors than with male jurors.

Said differently, female jurors are more open to influence by a female attorney using a high power influence style. Male jurors are influenced more favorably by a female attorney's attractiveness, and do not respond favorably to a high power style used by an unattractive female attorney.

Source Trafalis, S. (2006). The effects of physical attractiveness and influence style on juror perceptions of likability and effectiveness of a White female attorney. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 66(12-B), p. 6973.