Smith, S. M., Patry, M. W., & Stinson, V. (2007). But what is the CSI Effect? How crime dramas influence people's beliefs about forensic evidence. Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services, 5, 187-195.
There is anecdotal evidence supporting the notion that television crime dramas affect people's opinions and expectations of forensic evidence and verdicts. We conducted two studies to measure attitudes toward forensic evidence and identify the extent to which beliefs and attitudes are a function of television viewing. As viewing of crime dramas increased, so did rating of the accuracy and reliability of a number of types of scientific forensic evidence (but not "non-scientific" evidence). To some extent, these effects were found to be causal. We discuss implications for policy and practice and suggest avenues for future research.