Scantlen, Anthony J.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Journalism
Mass media--Psychological aspects||Criminal justice, Administration of--Psychological aspects
This study examined the impact of different media (television and print) on people's perceptions of crime and punishment. An experimental design was used and 61 Northern Illinois University psychology students served as subjects. Subjects were randomly assigned into one of two treatment groups. One group watched a series of four televised broadcasts about a murder case in Rockford, Illinois. The other group read a series of newspaper-like articles about the same case. The experiment explored whether different media treatment groups would produce different opinions of the defendant and his appropriate punishment. The impact was assessed in each of four stages in the criminal justice process: the arrest, trial, verdict, and sentence. Results showed no significant differences in subjects' opinions of the defendant — or attitudes regarding his punishment — between the television and newspaper treatments. The findings as to whether subjects' opinions changed dramatically over time (across stages) were mixed.
Roszkowski, John L., "Examining the effects of television and print media on subjects' perceptions of criminal justice" (1991). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 2981.
x, 101 pages
Northern Illinois University
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