Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Sci., Psi, and CSI: Police Officers and Students’ Paranormal TV Consumption, Real-Life Experience with Paranormal Phenomena, and Perceptions of Psychic Detectives

  • Susan H. SarapinEmail author
  • Glenn G. Sparks


This study of the CSI effect, separately surveying 416 law-enforcement officers and 307 students, is an inquiry into the effects of paranormal-TV consumption on the respondents’ perceptions of the utility of psychic detectives in actual crime investigations. Grounded on the gratifications/cultivation model of media cultivation theory and in addition to other significant results, the authors found a significant positive relationship between paranormal-TV viewing and belief in psychics’ effectiveness at solving crimes among the sample of police who reported real-life experience with paranormal phenomena. This was an effect that persisted for the police after controlling for several other independent variables. The authors suggest that the “zones-of-relevance” construct that Bilandzic and Rössler (2004) posited as a primary element of their effects model constitutes the pivotal psychological mechanism that accounts for the differences between the students and police.


police psychic detectives paranormal television media cultivation theory CSI effect 


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and criminal Psychology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hall School of Journalism and CommunicationTroy UniversityTroyUSA
  2. 2.Brian Lamb School of CommunicationPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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