ERIC Number: ED178965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of United States Television Programs upon Canadian Beliefs about Legal Procedure.
Tate, Eugene D.; Trach, Larry F.
Since Canadian courtoom procedures differ from those of courts in the United States, a study was conducted to test the effects of United States television programs depicting legal proceedings upon Canadian viewers' beliefs about the legal system of that country. A sample of 355 Canadians (composed of eighth and twelfth grade students, first year college students, and first year law school students) completed a questionnaire containing 24 statements. The statements represented information that could be gained from watching television programs taking place in a courtroom, such as proper dress for a lawyer (Canadian lawyers wear black robes in court) and information that could not be so gained, such as jury selection procedures. The questionnaire also contained a semantic differential scale asking respondents to indicate how influential parents, teachers, friends, magazines, novels, motion pictures, and television had been on their knowledge of the judicial process. The results showed that those persons who indicated that television was the most influential source of information about the judicial system had inaccurate perceptions about the Canadian court system, supporting the view that television is very influential in forming viewers' beliefs. The results also supported the concept of incidental learning: people do obtain information from television without deliberately seeking it. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; Media Effects
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979) ; Best copy available