Investigating the influence of mass media on general public attitudes towards criminals and fear of crime

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Leszczynska, Ewelina
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
Public knowledge of criminals and crimes is predominantly obtained from mass media. This study investigates the effect of media consumption on attitude toward criminals, fear of crime and also looks at level of stress in viewers. A self-report questionnaire including variety of demographic and audience trait variables, was given to 110 convenience sample participants. Employing the nonparametric test (Kruskal-Wallis), the results determine that greater levels of exposure to media is not related to increased fear of crime, negative attitudes toward criminals or level of stress. However Mann-Whitney looks at the difference in fear of crime between men and women and the results indicate that there is significant difference between genders in fear of crime. Still, fear can be triggered by many other factors and conditions and the challenge for further research is to address these factors. Ultimately, the study provides little evidence to imply that there is an association between media exposure and fear of crime. Author keywords: Mass media, criminals, fear of crime