Dr. Tamara Daily Presents Faculty Lecture

November 26, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Dr. Tamara Daily, dean of the division of social sciences and professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Mount Union, presented The Other CSI Effect on Wednesday, October 17.

According to Daily and other studies, media often relates mental illness with violence, but she has found another source that creates negative stigma on mental illnesses: crime TV programs.

Daily’s research highlights the effects of crime TV programs and public service announcements and the impact of negative portrayals on attitudes towards people with a mental illness. She suggests that there are general stereotypes made about people with a severe mental illness that TV programs utilize such as dangerous, unpredictable, incompetent, untreatable, etc.

In order to measure the effects of TV programs and whether public service announcements help create a positive opinion, Daily and her students surveyed 163 Mount Union freshman and sophomore students. The surveys consisted of three different video clips of mental illness and violence, commercials that advocate mental illness awareness and help and questions that survey the participants’ reactions to the videos, relating to anger and irritation, feeling sorry for the person, fear and danger.

“Watching a TV program which overtly paired mental illness and violence had a negative impact on attitudes in domains of fear and dangerousness, avoidance of those with psychosis and willingness to help and feeling sorry for those with psychosis,” Daily concluded, based on her data. “Violence alone did not produce this effect.”

She determined that crime TV shows do in fact establish doubt and contribute to the negative stigma of certain mental illnesses and that public service announcements have little effect on opinions about mental illness.

Daily earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University. She also earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research interests include the stigma associated with people with mental illness, the use of first person narratives in teaching psychology, stakeholder perceptions of access to the mental health system and mindfulness. 

Daily is a recipient of the 2010 Morgan Impact Award for Innovation and the Recognition Award for Contributions to Students, an award sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Parents Association. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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