Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory and the CSI Effect on Jurors

essay A

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office presented a survey in 2005 in which it examined the impact of the alleged “CSI effect” to its jurymans. The information was gathered by agencies of appraising prosecuting officers who had jury test experience. and from at that place. the survey assessed the samples’ perceptual experiences as to whether the “CSI effect” had played a portion in the determination of some juries. Interestingly. although the “CSI effect” may be deemed an improbable factor. the survey showed that the “CSI effect” is existent and may impact jury behaviour ( Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. 2005 ) .

Television watching. as some media theories have discussed. can make a psychological impact to its viewing audiences particularly as it can necessarily function as an educational beginning ; nevertheless. the job lies in what telecasting can really learn ( Condry. 1989 ) . The presence of the “CSI effect” in justness and legal systems can be deemed important particularly as to how this may impact the judgement of the members of the jury.

The thought that certain telecasting genres. particularly along the lines of the extremely popular offense play Crime Scene Investigation ( CSI ) . can impact certain test results may look hideous. but the “CSI effect” has been established as a land that connects the real-life justness and legal systems and merchandises of media and amusement ( Smith. Patry and Stinson. 2008 ; Stevens. 2008 ; Mardis. 2006 ) . As the effectivity of the justness system besides relies on the effectivity of its jurymans. the impact of the media and amusement merchandises towards people in this context may be deemed debatable ( Stevens. 2008 ) .

This is why it is of import to measure the impact of the “CSI effect” because of its deductions thereby foregrounding the relationship between the jurisprudence and mass communications. The term “CSI effect” is based on the popular telecasting show Crime Scene Investigation ( CSI ) and other shows that present the undermentioned basic premiss: the ability of an ( fictional ) important group in offense and justness that can expose the truth based on their systematic and sophisticated procedures. However. since these shows are made for telecastings. it is inevitable that these procedures are glamorized and may non be realistic at all.

The “CSI effect” hence pertains to the influence of such telecasting plans to the perceptual experiences and behaviour of the people. particularly in relation to the justness and legal systems ( Smith. Patry and Stinson. 2008 ) . Stevens ( 2008 ) further explains that the “CSI effect” is based on fictionalized histories as to what forensic scientific discipline can make but. due to the distorted constructs of world of some viewing audiences. there is the ineluctable belief that these constituents of the shows are something happens in existent life.

Among the media and communicating theories that can function as cardinal model of this appraisal is Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory. The theory suggests that information beginnings such as telecasting contribute to the cultivation of the person and the societal environment ; hence. constructs of world are formed ( Gerbner & A ; Gross. 1976 ; Gerbner. 1998 ) . This theory can so be based on the construct that narratives. as projected. tends to reflect a certain extent of world. hence. they animate a society’s cultural environment.

As Gerbner ( 1999. nine ) explained the maps of narratives. they “illuminate the all important but unseeable relationships and concealed kineticss of life” ; as these narratives represent a grade of shared beliefs. the cultivation of these narratives and representations hence create a important input to the sensed world of persons. The Cultivation Theory is besides farther supported by several surveies conducted by Gerber and his co-workers with a focal point on the impact of telecasting to existent universe perceptual experiences.

This brings an interesting premiss as the jutting world is based on fictional work ; the impact of the cultivation thereby leads to behavioural effects. Television shows. as Gerbner ( 1998 ) pointed out. are of import selling tools that have affected non merely the people’s perceptual experiences but besides their individuality and outlooks from the society. The cogency of telecasting can be based on its map. being a beginning of information and spectacle stand foring the shared images and history across many societies ( Gerbner. 1998 ) .

This paper hence aims to measure the relationship of Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory with the “CSI effect” . particularly as to how this has affected and may impact juryman perceptual experiences and judgements. This survey addresses this thesis by carry oning a reappraisal of a series of related literatures that are deemed built-in to a better and cohesive apprehension between this phenomenon and the theory of cultivation. The findings and deductions discuss the grade of impact of the “CSI effect” and whether this is something that the justness system should earnestly see and give attempt to.

Furthermore. attacks towards the Cultivation Theory are besides addressed particularly in footings of its pertinence to the “CSI effect” and juryman behaviour. The survey so concludes with an analysis on how the findings may really assist in the preparation of a more effectual jury testing procedure. Review of Literature Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory. the Media. and the Television A series of surveies conducted by Gerbner and his co-workers tackled the consequence of the telecasting and its part to the formation of world among its viewing audiences which are. interestingly. found to be similar to the universe in these telecasting shows.

Functioning under the umbrella of the Cultivation Theory. the surveies besides initiated cultivation analyses and the designation of cultural indexs that were besides deemed to lend to reality- and perception-formation among telecasting viewing audiences. As Gerbner ( 1998 ) explained these procedures. the activity was spawned from the old scrutinies on how narratives. in general. may be formed for the intent of fabrication and selling intents. Television is hence seen as an of import medium in story-telling. particularly how technological inventions seem to hold continuously supported the function of the telecasting in the society.

As Gerbner’s surveies ( 1998. 1999 ; Gerbner & A ; Gross. 1984 ; Gerbner. Gross. Morgan & A ; Signorelli. 1984 ) have emphasized the function and importance of telecasting. the beginnings of cultivation found its locale in this peculiar engineering and societal tool. This is because media messages can be easy accessed through telecasting. therefore the cultivation of societal world may be based on what the media feeds its viewing audiences. However. as Gerbner ( 1998 ) noted. although the telecasting may be an of import tool. it simply plays an built-in facet in the overall kineticss of information procedures and conception-formation.

This is to state that. for case. a individual may be a immense fan of CSI because of its amusement value. but the same individual is besides well-aware that what he or she is appreciating is fiction and non needfully existent and factual. Hence. it can be gathered from the cultivation theory that although telecasting plays an built-in function. its consequence is non absolute as people are continuously exposed to many channels of information and messages ( Gerbner. 1998 ) .

The cultivation. on one manus. is seen to be more effectual is the spectator is experiences a perennial exposure to peculiar telecasting images ( Gerbner & A ; Gross. 1976 ) . The definition of cultivation is thereby defined as “the independent parts telecasting sing makes to viewer constructs of societal world. The ‘cultivation differential’ is the border of difference in constructs of world between visible radiation and heavy viewing audiences in the same demographic sub-groups” ( Gerbner. Gross. Morgan and Signorielli. 1994. 23 ) .

An analysis towards Gebner’s theory is presented by Hughes ( 1980 ) who presented some defects in the surveies presented by the former and his co-workers in the context of the consequence of force in telecasting to the perceived world. The initial cultivation theory surveies conducted by Gerbner in the1970s by and large made usage of the undermentioned controls: age. sex and instruction. Hughes pointed out that there were more factors that could impact the responses of the sample that participated in the General Social Survey such as race and income.

This shows that the pertinence of the cultivation theory is limited ; hence. how telecasting content may cultivate certain constructs among persons may be more minimum impact than expected. One of the surveies that applied the impression of cultivation theory is a survey conducted by Shrum ( 1999 ) where the writer measured attitude strength and attitude appendage as deductions of Gerbner’s cultivation theory. Shrum’s initial attack to the survey was to weigh in theories along the lines of Gerbner’s work and its critics such as those presented by Hughes ( 1980 ) .

Basically. the writer agreed with the identified defects of Gerbner’s work although the unfavorable judgments were largely based on the procedure Gerbner and his squad used. Shrum besides pointed out that one of the likely failings of Gerbner’s work was the designation of the two chief classs of samples in add-on to the antecedently identified controls of age. sex and instruction: participants who were heavy telecasting viewing audiences and those who were light telecasting viewing audiences. The chief intent of Shrum’s survey was to measure the impact of telecasting towards the attitudes demonstrated.

Although Shrum showed that what could restrict Gerbner’s work was the issue on the deficiency of efficient design. the writer approached the survey in a similar mode — by comparing the consequences between heavy and light viewing audiences — as a agency to place differences. The classification between the heavy and the light viewing audiences would turn out to be simplistic yet significant in the author’s attack particularly as the samples he used fell in the same demographic classs which were pupils.

The study’s consequence showed that it reflected Gerbner’s cultivation theory ; seemingly. heavy telecasting spectators were found to hold the inclination to comprehend a “television world” as compared to the light telecasting spectators. The survey examined pupils who watched soap operas. hence. from the consequences. the sampled heavy viewing audiences were found to hold the inclination to see more misgiving and perchance. more matrimonial jobs. Shrum ( 1999 ) utilized arrested development attacks and analyses in order to come up with this decision.

A similar survey can be besides found in Quick’s ( 2009 ) appraisal of fluctuation among patient response as based on whether they watch the medical play Grey’s Anatomy. The survey found that patients who to a great extent watched the show are most likely to hold positive associations in footings of their perceptual experiences towards physicians. The perceptual experience. harmonizing to this survey. is non needfully based on the positive portraiture of the physicians but instead the show was seen as a believable mention to what happens in the infirmaries and how physicians can be expected to act in this infinite.

Hence. despite the presence of both positive and negative portraitures of medical professionals. heavy viewing audiences of this peculiar show count the brave and compassionate facets of the fictional characters. hence. the survey found that these patient-viewers have a positive perceptual experience towards their doctors. Quick ( 2009 ) mentioned. nevertheless. that although this context does non needfully supply injury. the job is that the sensationalization of the show may foster cultivate incorrect or high outlooks from patients.

Quick ( 2009 ) further mentioned that the deductions of such consequences can be used to pass on accurate word pictures such as. in the instance of Grey’s Anatomy. conveying of import health-related information. In a sense. by utilizing the fictional channel such as telecasting. viewing audiences are able to be more informed in of import issues. This is discussed by Appel ( 2008 ) in which the telecasting plays an built-in function in just-world beliefs ; as Appel mentioned. the cultivation of beliefs can be specially affectional among those who to a great extent watch telecasting.

Appel ( 2008 ) supported this postulate by carry oning a comparing survey between Austrian and German telecasting viewing audiences ; the chief intent of this research was to find the grade of just-world beliefs among telecasting viewing audiences. The survey showed that fictional narrations can alter the perceptual experiences of the people. and interestingly. these narrations normally feature a universe that is merely. Basically. what can be attributed to this impact can be pointed at the content of the plan.

The effectivity of these messages in the “television world” is due to the undermentioned factors: the stimulation of moral rating paired with the presence of declaration. and at the same clip. the amusement value of these plans ( Appel. 2008 ) . This is why. harmonizing to the writer. heavy telecasting viewing audiences particularly those who watch a batch of fictional narrations demonstrate a strong belief in a just-world as compared to viewing audiences of documentary and non-fiction where belief in the mean-world is seen to be more emphatic.

From this. content obviously plays a function in the sum of influence to the viewing audiences. but from this survey. the fictional plans are seen to be a more effectual locale in altering the beliefs of the viewing audiences. When it comes to content. genre plays a really of import function. An of import point raised by Cohen and Weinmann ( 2000 ) is that the viewing audiences themselves unconsciously “cultivate” themselves through telecasting because the viewing audiences choose which shows to watch.

The choice can be based on many factors. from age. instruction. sex. personality and even life experiences. Since genres vary as based on content and certain secret plan norms. it can be gathered that societal worlds in these contexts besides differ. Which is why. harmonizing to the writers. the position and representations on the universe are non similar. and at the same clip. these plan contents may besides show conflicting positions.

Hence. in the facet of cultivation. different attitudes and world-views can be formed ; Shrum’s ( 1999 ) and Quick’s ( 2009 ) surveies are merely hence applicable to the specific genres they focused on ( soap operas and Grey’s Anatomy. severally ) and the consequences towards attitudes and viewer response may be different if the survey evaluated viewer response towards different shows. Cultivation Theory and the Crime Television Genre

When it comes to the cultivation impact in offense genres in telecasting. Dominick ( 1973 ) examined Gerbner’s theory specifically his surveies in cultivation when it comes to crime- or violence-related shows. Dominick mentioned that anterior to Gerbner’s survey published in 1972. there were already past surveies as to the presence of crime-related shows as found on telecasting. In fact. as the writer mentioned. it was found that even in the bulk of the telecasting shows in the 1950s demonstrated many plans of this genre. and that jurisprudence hatchet mans were already extremely stereotyped.

Dominick ( 1973 ) cited Gerbner’s old survey as a stepping rock to farther analyze offense and force on telecasting ; harmonizing to the writer. Gerbner’s surveies. which covered telecasting shows in the ulterior half of the sixtiess. showed a important sum of force and offense on telecasting yet. in world. there was the celebrated lessening in force among felons but the jurisprudence hatchet mans maintained a certain grade of force. In contemplation. Dominick noted that on telecasting. the jurisprudence hatchet mans were seen as the chief important figure that ever saves the twenty-four hours.

Hence. in holding with Gerbner’s survey. Dominick’s analysis lead to farther part as to the function of cultivation theory particularly as to how the audiences are influenced on their stereotype perceptual experiences. particularly in crime- and violence-related shows. Pigeonholing seems to be a common component in telecasting offense shows particularly as this genre play up certain norms when it comes to the supposed societal world of offense. What is interesting is that racial elements were found to be conducive to these portraitures.

For case. in a survey by Dixon ( 2007 ) . the writer noted that responses from heavy telecasting viewing audiences of crime-related plans are most likely the 1s to reflect a racial prejudice in the designation of the culprit and the constabulary officer. This shows that even though fact-based plans such as the intelligence present world. as besides adapted in fictional plans. there is the facet of racialized portraitures. Hence. cultivation in this context has led to certain media imaginations that have become a societal world based on the corporate perceptual experience towards offense racial stereotypes.

However. what challenges this is presented by a survey conducted by Grabe and Drew ( 2007 ) in which the writers examined how offense in the media would really successfully cultivate specific offense orientations. Harmonizing to the writers. the survey of offense in the media has been a outstanding topic in analyzing cultivation. Grabe and Drew conducted a survey among 505 selected grownups located in Indiana. and from this. the survey concluded that there was a important discrepancy depending on the many media genres and channels.

Hence. the survey showed that offense orientation among persons may non be as strongly influenced by the media particularly as viewing audiences have different personal orientations that may impact their ain worldviews. This is besides reflected by a survey executed by Diefenbach and West ( 2001 ) in which the writers tested the consequence of cultivation theory when it comes to perceptual experiences on force and offense as seen on telecasting. However. Diefenbach and West besides showed consequences which point at the influence of light versus heavy viewing audiences perceptual experiences. The survey showed that projections on offense rates are higher among heavy telecasting viewing audiences.

On one manus. it should be besides noted that in this survey. as the writers pointed out. the samples were limited among the participants from a little North Carolina town with offense rates below the national norm. The background of the participants can so be said to factor into perceptual experiences. which is to state. for case. that projections from samples from a little town may differ from those from the metropolis who have a greater exposure to condemnable incidences in their communities. Another fluctuation of a survey using the cultivation theory in offense telecasting is conducted by Heath and Petraitis ( 1987 ) .

Harmonizing to the survey. adapted perceptual experiences projected from the “television world” were believed to be largely realistic in distant scenes and non in their immediate environment. The survey concluded that the fright viewing audiences feel towards offense are more evident among viewing audiences who see the possibility of such incidents in a distant urban puting instead than in their vicinity. Basically. based on these applications of the cultivation theory in the offense genre. it can be observed that the varying consequences are due to the different impacts of many factors.

It is apparent that one of the offense genre norms is the use of stereotypic portraitures which. in the terminal. does take the viewing audiences to do certain decisions thereby impacting their offense orientations. On one manus. other surveies further expression at the derived functions at the existent consequence of offense telecasting exposure among the viewing audiences. and this shows that the cultivation theory is applicable merely up to a certain extent. The cogency of Gerbner’s cultivation theory still has to trust on the background of the viewing audiences. the relevancy of the show’s content to the viewers’ world. and the sum of media exposure a spectator may hold.

Therefore. it is possible that some viewing audiences demonstrate a quintessential illustration or a manifestation of Gerbner’s cultivation theory. but as clip went on and as can be seen in the more recent cited surveies on audience response towards offense telecasting. perceptual experiences in this context are non homogeneous. The impact of telecasting towards perceptual experience and behaviour can so be regarded on a case-to-case footing. particularly as audience exposure is no longer limited to the offerings of telecasting. in add-on to the fact that there has been besides the outgrowth of sub-genres among many other shows.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member