|Office:||343 Coffey Hall|
Ph.D., Northwestern University (1980)
I have been involved in research on mass media effects since my graduate school days, when I collaborated on a time-series with switching replications study of the effects of the introduction of television on criminal behavior. I then pursued my interest in media and crime into the prisons, interviewing inmates about childhood television viewing and comparing their responses with those of non-criminals from the same neighborhoods. I have also done a national study of the effects of randomness and sensationalism in newspaper reports of local and non-local crimes. All of these studies revealed significant media effects. Social psychological constructs such as social comparison and perceived control are used to understand these media effects on fear of crime and criminal behavior. Recently, I have been collaborating with colleagues from the U.S. and Trinidad/Tobago on research that examines the relationship between media presentations of crime and fear of crime in Trinidad. I am also working with colleagues on a book about women?s paths to success in academe and on a 20 year follow-up to the study with Minnesota inmates.
Heath, L. & Brown, K. (2005). Sex and gender in Springfield: Male, female, and d'oh. In A. Brown (Ed.), D'oh: The Psychology of The Simpsons. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.
Heath, L. (2005). Quasi-experiment. In K. Kempf-Leondard (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Measurement. (255-261) San Diego, CA: Elsevier Science Limited.
Heath, L., Kavanagh, J., & Thompson, R. (2001). Perceived vulnerability and fear of crime: Why fear stays high when crime rates drop. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 33, 1-14.