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ERIC Number: ED186960
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Distinguishing Facts From Fictions: Television's Influence on Adolescents' Knowledge of Law Enforcement.
Slater, Dan; Elliott, William R.
A questionnaire survey was conducted to discern the effect of television police/crime programs on adolescents' knowledge of real life law enforcement activities. The sample population was composed of 313 average high school students, 160 students involved in a "positive" police situation through taking courses taught by police officers, and 84 students with "negative" police interactions (having records of law violation or delinquency). The questionnaire elicited information on television viewing habits and knowledge of real life law enforcement. Six items were used to test knowledge, each having a "TV" answer and a "real life" answer. The subjects were divided into categories of light, moderate, and heavy television viewers of law enforcement television programs. The hypothesis that as viewing level increased, the ability of a subject to discern fact from fiction would decrease was partially supported by the findings. The results also suggested that the influence of television as an instructor of statistics about law enforcement might not be significant, but that the influence of television's repetitious portrayal of certain police methods and behaviors might have an impact on adolescents' perceptions of social reality. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Effects
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (71st, Ocean City, MD, April 24-26, 1980).