Author(s)

Gabriele Ward

Date Approved

7-15-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Dihoff, Roberta

Subject(s)

Television broadcasting of news;Minorities in mass media

Disciplines

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate if televised news programs overrepresent or underrepresent certain races as perpetrators or victims. Three weeks of crime news programming were surveyed. The races of perpetrators and victims were identified and coded. Those findings were then compared to 2014 crime statistics obtained from the Philadelphia Police Department. It was hypothesized that (a) Blacks would be overrepresented as perpetrators, (b) Blacks would be underrepresented as victims, (c) Whites would be overrepresented as victims, (d) Whites would be underrepresented as perpetrators, (e) Hispanics would neither be underrepresented or overrepresented as perpetrators, and (f) Hispanics would neither be underrepresented or overrepresented as victims. A chi-square goodness-of-fit test was performed to determine if any races were underrepresented or overrepresented as perpetrators or victims. The only two hypotheses supported were that Blacks were underrepresented as victims while Whites were overrepresented as victims.

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