It has been shown that popular crime television series can have an impact in the behavior and perception of viewers. Forensic evidence, or evidence that is gathered through scientific methods, is often central to the plot of these shows. Exposure to forensic evidence in these shows has impacted the legal system by changing perceptions and opinions towards evidence presented in courtrooms, a consequence termed the CSI effect. A subset of the CSI effect named the Police Chief's Effect refers to the ability of criminals to learn about forensic evidence from these shows. Although understudied, the Police Chief's effect has the potential to increase the difficulty of criminal investigations if criminals are better able to plan their actions and conceal evidence. The intent of this thesis is to explore a relationship between forensic techniques portrayed in television and the forensic knowledge an individual obtains from it. Previous studies have looked at the Police Chief's effect in the context of a non-violent crime, even though most of the television shows highlight crime of a violent nature. The present study evaluates the ability of participants to consider forensic evidence when planning a murder, taking into account their crime show viewing history. The results revealed that the overall number of crime shows, percentage of those episodes and involvement in the shows was not associated with forensic evidence. However, a moderate correlation was found between the number of crime shows watched and forensic evidence in female participants.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Hancock, Peter A.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences





Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Release Date


Included in

Psychology Commons