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 academia and on a 20 year follow-up to the study with Minnesota inmates.
Heath, L., Patel, A., & Mulla, S. (In press). Toward a social psychological understanding of mass media and fear of crime: More than random acts of senseless violence. In D. Chadee (Ed.), Psychology of Fear, Crime and the Media: International Perspectives. Taylor and Francis Publishers, Routledge/Psychology Press.
Heath, L. (2015). Triangulation. In the International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2"1 Edition. London: Elsevier Press.
Suzuki, H. & Heath, L. (2014). Humor and relevance as retrieval cues for selectively recognizing lecture details. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research.
Heath, L., DeHoek, A., & Locatelli, S. (2012). Indirect Measures in Evaluation: On Not Knowing What We Don't Know. Practical Assessment, Research, & Evaluation. 17, 6a. Available online.
Heath, L. (2011). Portrayals of crime. In G. Brewer (Ed.), Media Psychology (pp. 135- 150). London,England: Palgrave Macmillan Press.
Surrette, R., Chaddee, D., Heath, L., & Young, J. (2011). Preventive and punitive criminal justice policy support in Trinidad: The media's role. Crime, Media, Culture. 7, 31-48.