How did the movie Black Panther impact the impressionable African-American teenage mind? Are selfies bad or good? What do you do when you hate your partner’s social media presence?
All good questions for the neighborhood media psychologist.
Yes, that’s now a thing thanks to Santa Barbara–based Fielding Graduate University, which pioneered the nation’s first PhD program in media psychology in 2002. Since then, Fielding faculty and grads are helping to shape the national conversation on how media influences human behavior, from neuromarketing and brand psychology to transmedia storytelling.
In essence, media psychologists shed light on how media and technology influence the way people connect and make meaning of their lives, explained Fielding Media Psychology Program Director Jerri Lynn Hogg.
Hogg is currently buried in research on how media and technology use is impacting childhood development. She’s tapping the input of physicians, psychologists, educators, and other professionals working with children.
“Technology and new media are being used by children at younger and younger ages and have become an issue of national interest and concern,” said Hogg.
Fielding Media Psychology faculty member Dr. Karen Dill-Shackleford has researched the effects of film and TV on society. She’s testified twice before Congress and has consulted on the role of the media in people’s everyday understanding of “the truth.” Here is Dr. Dill-Shackleford’s take on these popular productions: