Download Full Text (584 KB)
Kenzie Cervo, Psychology
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Pamela Schuetze, Psychology
True Crime has become wildly popular genre in all forms of media, but we don't yet know what leads people to engage in these anxiety-provoking stories. Previous work by Vicary and Fraley (2010) found that when you compare women's and men's interests in novels, women hold the majority interest in true crime. True crime is based on or modeled after real events and is a trauma-centered genre that can be reinforcing for people with trauma who already have a negative worldview. The way the brain changed after experiencing trauma has been so significant that DSM-5 criteria has been updated to include "persistent negative beliefs and expectations about oneself and the world". The high prevalence of true crime and child abuse leaves us asking if child abuse survivors are using this genre to reinforce the negative world view they already hold? This study looks at association between histories of child abuse and having an interest in true crime in adult years. This study will also explore the possibility that world view mediates any association between child maltreatment and interest in true crime. Buffalo State students will complete a questionnaire that asks about the positive and negative experiences they had in their childhoods, their world view, and their media consumption. This presentation will be used to communicate the expected findings of women having a higher interest in true crime than men, and that child abuse experiences and interest in true crime will be positively correlated.
Cervo, Kenzie, "Associations Between Child Abuse, World View, and True Crime" (2021). Psychology and Social Sciences. 26.