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Television, Media, Death Penalty, Attitude, Capital Punishment


This study argues that the frequency of consumption and type of television media that one views is indicative of attitudinal formation on sensitive Political Science issues such as executing convicted murderers. In this setting, I investigate whether Americans who watch more television, and those who watch prime-time dramas or comedies or national or world news programs are more likely to support the death penalty. I hypothesize that such viewing habits increases ones likelihood for supporting punitive punishment like the death penalty because of the type of media messages they are exposed to such as violence, criminal dramas, law enforcement, and victimization. I test these hypotheses utilizing data from the 1993 General Social Survey (GSS). Controlling for a range of demographic factors and other known predictors of death penalty attitudes, my results demonstrate that Americans who more frequently view prime-time dramas or comedies and national or world news programs are more likely to support capital punishment for convicted murderers.


The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

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Family, Home, and Social Sciences



Television Media Consumption: Measuring Attitudinal Levels Towards Capital Punishment

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