Yes! We live in a media age where it is nearly impossible to leave the house without your phone or go through a day without using some form of technology or another. People’s dependence on technology is growing by the day, and different methods of interaction with the media are changing and advancing as well. This change affects every aspect of our lives, including our homes, schools, and jobs. Media Psychology is becoming increasingly important as technology advances.
What is Media Psychology?
“Media psychology is the branch and specialty field in psychology that focuses on the interaction of human behavior with media and technology. Media psychology is not limited to mass media or media content; it includes all forms of mediated communication and media technology-related behaviors, such as the use, design, impact, and sharing behaviors. This branch is a relatively new field of study because of advancements in technology. It uses various methods of critical analysis and investigation to develop a working model of a user’s perception of media experience.”– Wikipedia
Sociology, advertising, marketing, and communication studies are the foundations of media psychology. Because of the continuous advancement of technology, media and technology were combined. Media Psychology was not recognized as a field of study in psychology until 1986 when the American Psychological Association (APA) established Division 46, which focused on phycologists who are experts in the field of media. The APA has since changed its name to the Society for Media Psychology and Technology, and its focus has shifted to a broader study of the effect and influence of media on humans. This field of study has expanded since the 2003 launch of the APA accredited media Phycology Ph.D. program at Fielding Graduate University in the United States. Several publications, books, and scholarly journals on media psychology have been written by writers such as David Giles, and more universities such as Stanford and Cornell are beginning to recognize this field under the communication department.
Media Psychology is concerned with ensuring a positive psychological outcome as it relates to the use of media and technology, as media is now an important part of our daily lives. Social bonds are formed through the media, and various programs and information aimed at improving every aspect of our daily lives are now being transmitted via the media and technology.
Among the topics covered by Media Psychology are:
- Online Learning – This is about how to set up online learning platforms that will benefit learners of various ages in terms of effective communication and appropriate information dissemination and assimilation.
- Media influence – This section investigates how different people react to media content. For example, how does the depiction of aggressive content elicit a reaction? Is it related to how it was presented? Can it be presented in a different way to achieve a different result?
- Audience Participation – This examines the viewer’s participation in the media presentation or the various programs presented, such as why viewers cry or laugh while watching a program. What motivates a fan’s patronage and support of a team? Etc.
Other topics are more closely related to media technologies, entertainment, healthcare, politics, and education. In the field of education, teachers who want to teach young students about media and cyber literacy should take some Media Psychology courses.
In conclusion, there is a need for this area of Psychology to be widely utilized because it is obvious that technological advancement is eminent by the day, and it comes with both advantages and disadvantages. There is a need to understand how to maximize the benefits of technology while minimizing the drawbacks, which is primarily what media Psychology aims to accomplish.
It is mandatory for media psychologists to be able to identify both the disadvantages of technological advancement and how to maximize the benefits for the benefit of all. The Media psychologist can accomplish these great feats by working as a researcher, consultant, developer, mental health counselor/provider, and so on.
The media psychologist must also be able to understand the various cultures and traditions of the people he chooses to serve, all while remaining current with technological demands.