Once again, Winning Trial Advocacy Tips has an excellent article for those of us who try cases.
Here is an excerpt:
There’s something strange about how our brains work. For some reason, our brains don’t seem to comprehend the word “Don’t” very well. In fact, our brains have the power to completely ignore that single word while still hearing every other word in the statement. It happens on a subconscious level. When we hear the word “Don’t,” we ignore that word and follow the rest of the command. If you’ve ever coached sports, you probably noticed the difference between telling an athlete, “Don’t miss this shot” vs. “You’re going to make this shot.” When you tell players, “Don’t miss this shot,” they’re more likely to miss. For some reason, “Don’t” gets lost in the shuffle, leaving only the command: “MISS THIS SHOT!”