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INFLUENCE OF THE CSI EFFECT ON EDUCATION AND MASS MEDIA

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Date Issued:
2010
Abstract/Description:
Forensic science television shows, especially CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, have been said to influence the public's perception of how forensic science is used and create interest in studying forensic science and pursuing jobs in the field. This study investigates this claim through a variety of methods. First, definitions of the CSI effect are discussed, including how it was first used and mentioned in the media. Second, survey data from students in a forensic anthropology course regarding interest in forensic science media and educational and career choices are analyzed. Third, the number and debut dates of forensic science non-fiction books, novels, non-fiction television shows, and television dramas are investigated. Finally, a content analysis of the television show Bones is undertaken in order to understand how the forensic anthropology presented in this show differs from the actual practice of forensic anthropology. Results of this study indicate that, overall, students who wanted to pursue forensic science careers and graduate study did not watch more forensic science television shows and read more forensic science novels than those who did not want to pursue forensic science careers and graduate study. Also, based on the decreased interest in a number of forensic careers, it appears that respondents may have started the course with false perceptions regarding the actual job descriptions of these careers. Regarding the number and debut dates of forensic science media, this study found that the majority of non-fiction forensic anthropology books, non-fiction television shows, television dramas debuted after CSI appeared, corroborating the claim that CSI led to an increase in interest in forensic anthropology. In addition, this study found that while much of Bones is fictionalized for entertainment purposes, many of the techniques and analyses presented on the show have a peripheral basis in scientific methods.
Title: INFLUENCE OF THE CSI EFFECT ON EDUCATION AND MASS MEDIA.
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Name(s): McManus, Sarah, Author
Schultz, John, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Forensic science television shows, especially CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, have been said to influence the public's perception of how forensic science is used and create interest in studying forensic science and pursuing jobs in the field. This study investigates this claim through a variety of methods. First, definitions of the CSI effect are discussed, including how it was first used and mentioned in the media. Second, survey data from students in a forensic anthropology course regarding interest in forensic science media and educational and career choices are analyzed. Third, the number and debut dates of forensic science non-fiction books, novels, non-fiction television shows, and television dramas are investigated. Finally, a content analysis of the television show Bones is undertaken in order to understand how the forensic anthropology presented in this show differs from the actual practice of forensic anthropology. Results of this study indicate that, overall, students who wanted to pursue forensic science careers and graduate study did not watch more forensic science television shows and read more forensic science novels than those who did not want to pursue forensic science careers and graduate study. Also, based on the decreased interest in a number of forensic careers, it appears that respondents may have started the course with false perceptions regarding the actual job descriptions of these careers. Regarding the number and debut dates of forensic science media, this study found that the majority of non-fiction forensic anthropology books, non-fiction television shows, television dramas debuted after CSI appeared, corroborating the claim that CSI led to an increase in interest in forensic anthropology. In addition, this study found that while much of Bones is fictionalized for entertainment purposes, many of the techniques and analyses presented on the show have a peripheral basis in scientific methods.
Identifier: CFE0003184 (IID), ucf:48596 (fedora)
Note(s): 2010-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Department of Anthropology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): CSI effect
forensic anthropology
content analysis
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003184
Restrictions on Access: public 2010-05-01
Host Institution: UCF

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