It’s a field with no consensus definition, no clearly-defined career paths, and no easy answers. In spite of that, it can introducing evolutionary psychology pdf value anywhere human behavior intersects media technologies. Psychology is key to understanding the implications of technology.
Consequently, it seems like it should be pretty straightforward to define media psychology. For some reason, though, it’s not. In this and the following two posts, I will discuss my definition of media psychology and why I think media psychology is so important. Both media and psychology have made major contributions to western culture throughout the 20th century.
Can you imagine The New Yorker without Freudian references or Jason Bourne without operant conditioning? This awareness is leaving people clamoring for a new level of understanding.
There is an infiltration of media applications and information technologies into nearly every aspect of our lives. What does it all MEAN?
The goal of media psychologists is to try to answer those questions by combining an understanding of human behavior, cognition, and emotions with an equal understanding of media technologies. Unlike some types of media studies, media psychology is not just concerned with content. Media psychology looks at the whole system. There is no beginning and no end.
It is a continual loop including the technology developer, content producer, content perceptions, and user response. Just as Bandera describes social cognitive theory as the reciprocal action between environment, behavior, and cognition, so does media psychology evaluate the interactive process of the system. There is no chicken, no egg to this system.
They all coexist and coevolve with each other. There is no consensus among academicians and practitioners as to the definition or scope of media psychology.
This is because the field must be representative of not only the work currently being done, but also the work that needs to be done. The interests of the person doing the defining often drive definitions of a field. In spite of our awareness of media everywhere, when someone mentions media the metaphor we fall back on is often mass media. It’s a field where you must continually define your terms.
The same heuristics impact the popular perception of the field of psychology. There is a wide world of psychology beyond the narrow view of clinical applications that evoke images of Freud and talk therapy. So it isn’t surprising when media psychology is perceived as a psychologist appearing in the media, such as the radio shrink for many years Dr. Toni Grant or the infamous Dr.
Due to the prevalence of mass media relative to other media technologies, it was home for several psychologists with media venues. The initial emphasis in Division 46 on training psychologists to effectively appear in the media, how to deliver psychological information over the media, the ethical limitations of doing therapy using media, and as a watchdog for the accurate portrayal of psychologists in the media far outweighed the emphasis on research looking at media use and development. Part of the confusion also comes from the cross-disciplinary aspects of media psychology. In fact, much of the early work came from marketing and advertising and the bulk of the research in media psychology has been published in academic and applied disciplines beyond psychology, such as sociology, communications and media studies, education, computer and information sciences, as well as business management and marketing.
What has often been challenging is the lack of intellectual cross-pollination. Media psychology seeks to address that by bringing together all these approaches and vocabularies with the recognition that communication, cognition, and emotions are pretty fundamental to human experience and therefore have, by definition, foundations in psychological thought. We need media psychology because media technologies are proliferating at the speed of light with new toys and gadgets on the market every day.