Semper Fi: How Images of Death in NCIS Affect Attitude Change

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Virginia Tech


This pre-test, post- test experiment examined the effects of mortality salience, frames of the military and military personnel, and regulatory focus on viewer attitudes toward the military, support for the military, and their perceptions of military personnel's criminal behavior. Participants viewed a short video clip from an episode of NCIS which contained either a sympathetic or non-sympathetic frame of the military and, in the treatment condition, a mortality salience reminder. Frame (sympathetic or non-sympathetic) had a significant effect on participant attitudes toward the military in the control condition when there was no mortality salience reminder present in the video clip. However, when participants' mortality was made salient, attitudes and support for the military did not change. Theoretical and practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.



Crime Drama, Regulatory Focus, Mortality Salience, Terror Management Theory, NCIS