Wakshlag, J., Vial, V., & Tamborini, R. (1983). Selecting crime drama and apprehension about crime. Human Communication Research, 10 (2), 227-242.

Abstract:  Investigated whether heavy exposure to media violence causes viewers to consider it increasingly likely that they might become victims of violent crime and so become acutely fearful for their personal safety. 39 male and 45 female undergraduates’ initial apprehension about crime was manipulated via exposure to a specially edited crime documentary or control film. They were then given an opportunity to select films to be viewed from a list. This list contained film descriptions that varied in the degree to which they featured victimization and justice restoration. Analysis indicated that apprehensive Ss chose films with less victimization than their counterparts in the control group. Apprehensive Ss also chose films that featured more justice than their counterparts in the control group. Findings are consistent with several selective exposure rationales for the well-documented relationship between exposure to TV–and crime drama in particular–and fear of crime. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)