University of Twente Student Theses


Sympathizing with a serial killer: an explanation of the success of Dexter

Kerutt, B. (2012) Sympathizing with a serial killer: an explanation of the success of Dexter.

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Abstract:Today’s great range of drama series on television indicates that this format is very successful. The success of such television programs can be explained by different factors. The current research focuses on the series Dexter which tells the story of a police forensics expert. At night he becomes a serial killer of criminals who he believes have escaped justice. The investigated factors are the format of the series, moral judgment regarding the main character, identification, parasocial interaction, and transportation. The main objective is to determine whether these factors can explain the success of the show. A sample of 134 Dexter viewers participated in an online survey, answering statements about the five chosen factors and giving an overall evaluation of the show. Results show that all factors contribute to the success of the series. Especially the format and the identification with Dexter (the main character) seem to play a central role. The general lack of research about the influence of the format of TV programs as success determinant can be reduced by the results of this research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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