Publication Date

1991

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Scantlen, Anthony J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Journalism

LCSH

Mass media--Psychological aspects||Criminal justice, Administration of--Psychological aspects

Abstract

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.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [79]-84)

Extent

x, 101 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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