Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies
Journalism and Media Studies
First Committee Member
Paul Traudt, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
The media have been found to be the public’s main source of information on mental illness. Schizophrenia is one of the most widely misunderstood, stereotyped and stigmatized mental disorders, and it is no surprise that portrayals of schizophrenia in the media have been found to be very negative in nature. Participants were given a pretest, shown stimulus material, then given a posttest. The pretest and posttest consisted of questions from the Community Attitudes on Mental Illness (CAMI) scale and questions assessing views of dangerousness. Participants viewed an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit in which a man with schizophrenia is depicted as a very dangerous sexual deviant. Results indicated that viewers’ attitudes were significantly affected by the portrayal of schizophrenia in the episode. Viewers generally tended to support community-based healthcare less and found people with schizophrenia more dangerous after viewing the stimulus material.
Attitudes; CAMI; Crime drama; Dangerous; Experiment; Schizophrenia
Hand, Lindsey Jo, "The Portrayal of schizophrenia in television: An experiment assessing how viewer attitudes are affected" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 233.