Television Media Consumption: Measuring Attitudinal Levels Towards Capital Punishment
Jones, Bryson D.; Bahr, Stephen J.
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.