2009 October 29 Thursday
Crime TV Show Watchers Have Distorted World Views

TV shows cause people to have distorted perceptions of the criminal justice system and the incidence of crime.

Sparks and Susan Huelsing Sarapin, a doctoral student in communication, conducted 103 surveys with jury-eligible adults about their crime-television show viewing and their perceptions of crime and the judicial system. Their research was presented earlier this month at the International Crime, Media, and Popular Culture Studies Conference: A Cross Disciplinary Exploration at Indiana State University.

"Many people die as a result of being murdered in these types of shows, and we found the heavy TV-crime viewers estimated two and a half times more real-world deaths due to murder than non-viewers," Sarapin says. "People's perceptions also were distorted in regards to a number of other serious crimes. Heavy TV-crime viewers consistently overestimated the frequency of crime in the real world."

Viewers of crime shows also misjudged the number of law enforcement officers and attorneys in the total work force. Lawyers and police officers each make up less than 1 percent of the work force, but those surveyed estimated it at more than 16 percent and 18 percent, respectively, Sarapin says.

Stop watching TV. It is warping your brain. Next time you want to watch TV distract yourself with a video game instead. Though beware that playing video games probably impairs your ability to recognize road-side bombs. So surf the internet instead.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 October 29 11:27 PM  Media Critique


Comments
frownface said at October 30, 2009 1:12 AM:

Sheeple are complete idiots. News at 11.

averros said at October 30, 2009 2:26 AM:

Stop reading the Internet. It won't warp your brain. It will suck it out. Ha-ha-ha.

Thras said at October 30, 2009 6:17 AM:

Equally: People's perceptions are warped by not watching enough crime TV. Light TV-crime viewers estimated 40% the amount of real-world death due to murder than non-viewers.

Anyway, my guess is that nobody accurately guesses any of these numbers unless they've been told.

miles said at October 30, 2009 3:56 PM:

My parents watch a lot of America's Most Wanted (which I admit Ive enjoyed myself some#, COPS #which I must admit is an authentic look at the underclass), and some of those "Post-Crime-Scene-Science/Forensics" dramas. They also religiously watch the local news (Fox affiliate). Their perception of crime is that it is much worse than it actually is. However there is some good in this because it gets them to do most of their shopping and errands in daylight hours in stores with security cameras, etc. So their "awareness" probably has made them safer. They constantly warn me about pulling up to an ATM machine at night (LOL). God bless em', they are wonderful people-----but they do believe crime is worse than it is at the present.


However Randall, with current economic and demographic trends, perhaps my mom and dad are simply 30 years ahead of the curve and it #will# be that rough here by 2040. Hope not, but afraid that it is a possibility.


BTW------Its insulting how the media is attempting to turn that Richmond High School Prom Gang Rape case (you know, something like 15 non-white boys raping one almost assuredly white--her best friends were white---girl) into a "violence against women" and "how women are portrayed as sex objects" issue. It was a rape issue first and a race issue second, with a group of non-whites who despised a openly bookish white girl and manhandled her outside her high school prom. If it were a hispanic girl raped by 15 white boys, could you *imagine* the media circus? (!)

Mthson said at October 31, 2009 3:19 AM:

Re: Richmond High

People with soft, sentimental temperaments are always surprised when they experience violent crime. That's what they get for living in fairyland.

Consider getting a pocket pistol. Women should especially consider it.

Wordy Bastard said at October 31, 2009 9:26 AM:

Based on the sort of crime shows we are presented with, crime show viewers probably also think that white, male CEOs are the most frequent murderers and criminals out there as well.

Randall Parker said at October 31, 2009 11:25 AM:

miles,

I heard about the prom gang rape and figured it was racial. But I hadn't put any effort into finding out just how racial.

2040: It is important to look ahead now and ask yourself where you want to end up as things deteriorate.

Wordy Bastard,

Whites are so bored (repelled?) by black crime they prefer to watch Law & Order episodes about criminal white guys. Maybe they want to imagine a world where their biggest threat comes from other white people?

I can imagine a good parody of Law & Order where detectives investigate white crimes while crimes by blacks and Hispanics happen behind them. The camera would show them just glancing back and turning away with bored looks on their faces once they discover the criminal isn't an upper class white. But the idea of a white surgeon committing a crime would make them giddy.

Winston Smith said at November 1, 2009 7:32 AM:

"Based on the sort of crime shows we are presented with, crime show viewers probably also think that white, male CEOs are the most frequent murderers and criminals out there as well."

Actually, I think they are as well - criminals if not murderers. If it were up to me the entire workforce of Goldman Sachs and the like would be hanged for grand theft.

Wordy Bastard said at November 1, 2009 8:52 AM:

Winston Smith says:

""Based on the sort of crime shows we are presented with, crime show viewers probably also think that white, male CEOs are the most frequent murderers and criminals out there as well."

Actually, I think they are as well - criminals if not murderers. If it were up to me the entire workforce of Goldman Sachs and the like would be hanged for grand theft."

What you have not noticed is that the CEOs who are depicted as criminals in TV shows do not come from that same small group that you are thinking of: The Bernie Madoffs of our society.


Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

      
 
Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright