Watching Crime TV Doesn't Make You A Better Criminal

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation not only spawned a new era of tv crime dramas, it also inspired a psychological theory. Couperfield/Shutterstock

Madison Dapcevich 05 Jan 2018, 23:51

What they did find was the type of person who makes the best criminal. The study suggests younger, highly-educated males working in technical professions appear to have certain advantages when it comes to concealing illegal activities.

"We can now dispel certain of the myths that have been coursing through the media and other publications for the past 20 years because we are able to state with relative certainty that people who watch CSI are no better at covering their tracks than other people," said Baranowski in a statement.

What the team didn't account for was how the CSI effect impacts jurors. We've all seen it: A dramatic evidence reveal proving once and for all that the glove does indeed fit. 

The authors note that some attorneys are "concerned that jurors no longer expect the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, but rather expect the defense to prove the innocence of the accused."

The study also doesn't account for the "inspiration" factor, like this man accused of killing his girlfriend who was reportedly motivated by an episode of Breaking Bad, or these nine crimes inspired by movies


In the CSI effect experiment, researchers conducted four separate investigations, including a crime scene mock-up to be "cleaned up" by subjects.'Andreas Baranowski.

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