The CSI Effect is a phenomenon where people’s views of forensic science and the criminal justice system are unfavorably influenced by watching television crime dramas. The dramatized elements from the fictional shows are thought to give viewers unrealistic expectations of forensic evidence, which is debated by researchers if this could cause real-world consequences, especially where the court room is concerned. Surveys were sent to EKU students to gauge the level of awareness students have of the CSI Effect, particularly comparing the awareness of forensics majors to non-forensics majors. Interviews were also conducted with professionals in the fields of forensic science and criminal justice to ascertain whether they thought the CSI Effect existed and what potential negative effects it had. The information gleaned from the research, interviews, and the surveys were used to make an informative documentary about the CSI Effect as a creative research project. The multimedia documentary video can be used as an educational tool to inform the public about the CSI Effect. Since the CSI Effect mainly exists due to people’s ignorance, increasing public awareness of the CSI Effect, such as by watching a documentary, can be a counteractive measure against this phenomenon.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2020


Mike Ward

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Department of Chemistry

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars



IRB Approval Number (if applicable)