Date of Award

Summer 1991

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Griffin, Robert

Second Advisor

Slattery, Karen

Third Advisor

Moroney, Siobhan


A survey with high school age students was conducted to measure the effects of television viewing on perceptions of the reality of television, and perceptions of crime and justice in America. While viewing certain types of programs was found to affect perceptions, overall television viewing, often used in cultivation studies, rarely related to any perceptions. A stronger determinant of perceptions of crime and justice than viewing was personal experience or knowledge of experiences of family members and close friends. It appears that the re-enactment programs of today's prime time television may change viewers perceptions of justice and law enforcement differently than the typical prime time crime program.