Crime Dramas Influencing Viewers



We've all heard of the crime drama, a show dedicated to solving the most unique crimes within a 60-minute time frame.

To some viewers, it's just a mash of violent acts dramatized for television.

But according to a study done at Washington State University, those shows are actually a helpful tool when it comes to real life situations.

"I've actually had something bad happen with multiple people around," said Nicole Massengale, "I wish somebody would have taken it upon themselves to stop and try to help or at least do something afterwards, at least pick up the phone and call the cops."

According to the school's  College of Communication, viewers of primetime dramas such as Castle and Body of Proof, are more inclined to intervene on behalf of a victim of sexual assault.

"It kind of makes it seem notable,' said Jeremy Erbacher, "The TV makes you seem a little more important if you do something. It definitely makes it seem like it's a good thing to do."

Counselors say they aren't surprised that crime dramas are having a positive effect on viewers.

However, they argue the TV shows aren't influencing them, but rather reinforcing their personal beliefs.

"Someone who's interested in animal rights and animal cruelty might also be interested in watching shows," said Counselor Nuno Fernandes, "But they're also more likely to intervene when they see an animal on the street. So if you have an interest in justice, or victimization or trauma, then you might be more likely to watch those TV shows, and you might be more likely to intervene in a crisis."

"You can actually learn a lot if you actually watch them and pay attention," said Massengale, "It's not just bad, it doesn't teach you just the violence, it also teaches you -- especially if you're a law student and you want to go into law, you can actually learn something from the show."

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