Hallie M. Callitsis, Anya Christine Jawyn


Presentation: 9:00-10:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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In recent decades, the widespread prevalence of fictional crime shows has become a defining feature of popular culture, captivating audiences with their intricate narratives of criminal investigations, courtroom dramas, and forensic analyses. This research aims to delve into the connection between these fictional crime shows and the perceptions of the criminal justice system among college-aged students. The central research question guiding this study is: How does exposure to fictional crime shows influence college-aged students' perceptions of the criminal justice system? By employing a survey-based methodology and distributing questionnaires to college students, the study intends to analyze responses, identify patterns, correlations, and significant findings related to the impact of media exposure on perceptions of the criminal justice system. After analyzing the data using a linear regression model, with the dependent variable being knowledge-based questions we found that nothing was significant. While this does not support our hypothesis, it is still relevant in determining how fictional crime shows impact the perception of the criminal justice system. Similarly, we ran two additional linear regression models with dependent variables based on the answers to the following questions: on average, what percentage of criminal cases in the US end in a plea bargain; and approximately what percentage of police officers have ever fired their gun while on duty? In regards to plea bargains, we found that being a criminal justice major/minor or not was significant, and with police officers firing their guns on duty being a criminal justice major/minor or not, race, and gender were all significant.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Mark A. Morgan

Primary Advisor's Department

Criminal Justice and Security Studies


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Media’s Role in College-Aged Students' Misconceptions of the Criminal Justice System