NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Does watching a lot of forensic crime TV shows like “CSI” help criminals figure out how to avoid getting caught? A new study on the issue says no.
Researchers at Mainz University explain that the so-called “CBS effect” has been around for decades. Named for the series of CBS shows centered around how police collect and analyze crime scene clues, some worried the insight into the process would tip off criminals looking to better cover their tracks.
For the study, researchers analayed crime and detection rates, talked with convicted criminals about the usefulness of such shows, and asked fans of crime series as well as a control group of non-watchers to clean up a mock murder scene.
While the study showed men working in technical professions did slightly better at concealing crimes, the sample group at large did not gain any great cunning from the TV shows.