Media Psychology-1050

Media Psychology: EDUC 1080 & PSY 1050
Spring, 2014
Instructor: Dr. Roger Klein
Office Hours: Thursday, 11:00-12:30, or by appointment
Office: Posvar Hall 5945
Phone: 648-7043
email: [email protected]
Note: Email is the fastest way to reach me. However, PLEASE put “Media Psychology” in the
subject field.
Course Overview: The main purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of
the ways in which the media—primarily electronic media---affect the viewer psychologically. A
second purpose is to examine how the science of psychology is presented in the media. An
examination will be made of several psychological theories that help to explain media effects. A
particular emphasis will be placed upon the following media psychology-related topics:
Aggression, advertising, news, portrayals of minorities, emotion, and health behaviors.
Jan. 9th
Overview. TV as an emotional medium.
Media issues, roles of media psychologists.
Videos: Tragedy at Sandy Hook, Dr. Phil
Theory, Research and Application I
Classical Conditioning and Advertising
Videos: BUYology, wolves, John Watson,
*Articles: Palmer, Kunkel
Jan. 23rd
Theory, Research and Application II
Modeling and Operant Conditioning
Videos: Super Nanny
Jan. 30th
Media violence I
Videos: ESPN, Jackass, Penn and Teller, Nightline: Ferguson
vs. Strasburger, Supreme Court decision
*Articles: Huesmann, Fischoff
Note: Take the Implicit Association Test (IAT) for both Race and Age prior to Feb. 6th class.
The URL is
Click on “proceed” at bottom of the page and various test options will appear.
Feb. 6th
Media Violence II
Videos: IAT, 20/20: Race and Sex
*Articles: D. R. Anderson, Gentile
Paper # 1 due
Broadcast News I: Information Processing, Learning
Videos: WPXI, change blindness
*Articles: Austin, Spicer-Brooks
Feb. 20th
Broadcast News II: Emotion, Risks
Feb. 27th
Media Ethics and Media Psychology
Videos: Dr. Drew, Bullying in the Classroom, CBS
March 6th
Hip-Hop Music (student presentation)
*Articles: Munoz-Laboy, APA task force on sexualization of
March 13th
Spring Break
March 20th
Paper II Due
The Internet
Audio: Internet pornography
Video: Teens and the Internet
*Article: Lenhart
March 27th
The work of Fred Rogers
Guest speakers: Ms. Hedda Sharapan, Producer, Mister
Rogers’ Neighborhood, & David Newell (Mr. McFeely)
*Article: Fisch
April 3rd
Sports & Heroes
Videos: HBO: Mickey Mantle
Articles: Nyland, Rada
April 10th
Reality TV (student presentation)
April 17th
Paper # 3 due
Future issues in Media Psychology
Note: All cell phones/laptops must be off.
There are 4 requirements for the course. Three papers (80%) and class
attendance/participation (20%). Your typed papers are graded 50% for content and 50%
for clarity, style and grammar.
Pick three of the following. For EACH selection (other than # 13-15) write a 7 page double
spaced paper, in your own words. Do not use materials that come from any source other
than this course. Do not use online materials if they are not listed here. Limit your personal
opinion to no more than 1 page per 7 pages written.
1. Watch/tape 1 local newscast. Create a definition of a positive, negative and neutral story.
Then, watch/tape one week of local TV news from the same station. First, define and
then record the frequency of positive, negative and neutral stories for each ethnic group
covered. Include sports separately. Second, summarize the data for each group using
simple averages. Compare your findings with those reported in Klein and Naccarato.
2. Watch 2 Sesame Street broadcasts. Compare what you see with the article by Fisch et al.
3. Find someone who regularly uses educational baby products. Interview them and
compare with results from Kaiser Foundation article on educational media for babies.
4. You may use this option ONCE ONLY. In your own words summarize any 2 of the
articles beginning on pg. 4 (except M. Worthen). Note—you must select articles from 2
different sections (i.e., can’t have 2 from “Advertising”). You can also combine the
Gigerenzer article with the Myers article—but this counts as one.
5. Watch/tape a series of 5 TV ads directed at children. Read the Report of the APA Task
Force (2004) on advertising and children at Compare the ads watched
with the concerns in the report.
6. Watch the Dr. Phil show once, and read 1 print column by John Rosemund,
972 and either one internet column by Leonard Holmes, or the “about com” psychological column, Summarize the psychological material presented from all
3, (it is understood that the 3 areas covered will not have the same content), and then
compare and critique how effectively the psychological material was presented to the
public. Turn in the print/internet columns.
7. Play 2 video games with violent content—or have a teenager play them. Describe
your/his/her feelings, emotions and physiological reactions during play---and compare
this with a summary of the article by either Huesmann or Olson (pick one of the 2 written
by Olson).
8. Watch any 2 Prime-Time TV shows. Record the presence and roles of minority
performers. Compare your findings with those of Hoffman and Noriega study on Latinos,
and determine if the Noriega study is still “accurate”.
9. Watch 2 prime time shows known for sexually explicit references or content. Compare
with APA Task Force report on sexualization in girls, or one from Eyal, Farrer or Yao
articles. Note: Yao article is under Aggression section, Eyal and Farmer are under Sexual
Behavior listings.
10. Compare one segment of the cancelled FX comedy “Starved”, on reserve at Hillman,
with 4 of the 6 eating disorder articles from 2009 issues of the Monitor on Psychology at
And also
11. Compare your own use of the Internet for health seeking information with Gray. Analyze
how things have changed since Gray wrote the paper.
12. Interview a child who uses the Internet and compare with Yan. Analyze how things have
changed since Yan wrote the paper.
13. Design, conduct and analyze data from a survey. Work with, at most, one other person.
Counts for 2 papers. You must analyze the data with the help of a graduate student who I
will select for you, write a 5 page APA style paper summarizing your results, and briefly
discuss in class on 4-17. Possibilities to be discussed in class. Paper due week of 4-17.
14. Two students can deliver the lecture on Hip-Hop/Rap. Counts for 2 papers. Must plan
lecture with me, use multi-media, as well as review, as part of the lecture, the 2 hip-hop
research articles.
15. Two students can deliver the lecture on Reality TV on. Counts for 2 papers. Must plan
lecture with me, use multi-media, as well as review, as part of the lecture 2 reality TV
research articles.
16. Compare Bushman and Ferguson on the impact of sex and violence on commercial
The following readings are to be used with the above exercises and selected class lectures.
Asterisks (*) designate articles that are good to read prior to lecture.
All journal articles are accessible through the Pitt virtual extranet or by using the url provided with
the article title.
A few of the articles have statistical and/or methodological designs that go beyond the scope
of this class. You are only to summarize articles in terms of the “gist” of the article---not the
statistical/methodological aspects.
Young, K (2009). Internet addiction: Diagnosis and treatment considerations. J Contemporary
Psychotherapy 39, 241–246
Griffiths, M. & Meredith, A. (2009). Videogame addiction and treatment. J Contemporary
Psychotherapy 39, 247-253.
Brocato et al. (2010). Television commercial violence: Potential effects on children. Journal of
Advertising, 39, 95-107.
Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg , P., M. (2005). Parental mediation of undesired advertising effects.
Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 49, 153-165.
Bushman, B., (2005). Violence and sex in television programs do not sell products in
advertisements. Psychological Science, 16, 702Ferguson, C. J., et al. (2010) Violence and sex as advertising strategies in television commercials.
European Psychologist 15, 304-311.
*Kunkel,D., (2004). APA Task Force on Advertising and Children. Retrieved 7-5-05.
*Palmer, E., L., Carpenter, C., F. (2006). Food and beverage marketing to children and youth:
Trends and issues. Media Psychology, 8, 165-190.
Scharrer, E., Bergstrom, A., Paradise, A., & Ren, Q. (2006). Laughing to keep from crying:
Humor and aggression in television commercial content. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic
Media, 50, 615-634.
Zwarun, L., Linz, D., Metzger, M., & Kunkel, D. (2006). Effects of showing risk in beer
commercials to young drinkers. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 50, 52-77.
Anderson, C.A., Berkowitz, L., Donnerstein, E., Huesmann, L.R., Johnson, J., Linz, D., et al.
(2003). The influence of media violence on youth. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 4,
Coyne et al. (2008). The effects of viewing physical and relational aggression in the media:
Evidence for a cross-over effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1551-1554.
*Gentile, D., Saleem, M., & Anderson, C. (2007). Public policy and the effects of media violence
on children.
Goidel, R.,K. & Procopio, S., T.(2006). The impact of television viewing on perceptions of
juvenile crime. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 50, 119-139.
*Huesmann, L., R. (2007) The impact of electronic media violence: Scientific theory and
research. Journal of Adolescent Health 41, 6, Supplement #1 S6–S13.
Sisak, M & Varnik, A. (2012). Media roles in suicide prevention: A systematic review.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9, 123-138.
Williams, K. R., & Guerra, N., G.(2007). Prevalence and predictors of Internet bullying
Journal of Adolescent Health 41, 6, Supplement #1 S14-S21
Worthen, M., (2007). Education policy implications from the expert panel on electronic media
and youth violence. Journal of Adolescent Health 41, 6, Supplement #1, S61-S63.
Yao, M.Z., Mahood, C., & Linz, D. (2010). Sexual priming, gender stereotyping and likelihood to
sexually harass: Examining the cognitive effects of playing a sexually explicit video game. Sex
Roles, 62, 77-88.
Questioning the impact of media violence:
Dye, M., et al. (2009). Increasing speed of processing with action video games. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 321-326.
Ferguson, C.J., San Miguel, C., & Hartley, R., D. (2009). A multivariate analysis of youth
violence and aggression: The influence of family, peers, depression and media violence. The
Journal of Pediatrics, 155, 904-908.
*Fischoff, S. (1999). Psychology’s quixotic quest for the media-violence connection. Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Boston.
Olson, C.K. (2010). Children’s motivations for video game play in the context of normal
development. Review of General Psychology,14, 180-187. Retrieved August 27 2010 from
Olson, C.K., Kutner, L.A., Baer, L., Beresin, E.V., Warner, D.E., & Nicholi, A.M. Jr. (2009). Mrated video games and aggressive or problem behavior among young adolescents. Applied
Developmental Science, 13, 188-198.
Coyne, S. et al. (2011). Game On. . . Girls: Associations between co-playing video games and
adolescent behavioral and family outcomes. Retrieved August 28th 2011 from
*Fisch, S., Truglio, R., & Cole, C. (1999). The impact of Sesame Street on preschool children: A
review and synthesis of 30 years’ research. Media Psychology, 1, 165-190.
Henderson, V., R. (2007). Longitudinal associations between television viewing and body mass
index among White and Black girls. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 544-550.
Jaffe, E. (2005). Watch and learn. The Observer, 8. Retrieved Dec. 24th 2005.
Kaiser Family Foundation (2005). A teacher in the living room? Educational media for babies,
toddlers and preschoolers. Retrieved Dec. 15th 2005.
Kirkorian, H. (2009). The impact of background television on parent-child interaction. Child
Development, 80, 1350-1359
Schmidt, M.,, (2005). The effects of media on children ages zero to six: A history of
research. Retrieved 2-10-05.
Wartella, E., Caplovitz, A., & Lee, J. (2004). From Baby Einstein to Leap Frog, from Doom to
the Sims, from Instant Messaging to Internet Chat Rooms: Public interest in the role of interactive
media in children’s lives. Social Policy Report, 18, 1-19.
Anderson et al. (2012). Facebook psychology: Popular questions answered by research.
Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 23-37.
Bessiere, K., et al. (2010). Effects of Internet use on health and depression: A longitudinal study.
Journal of Medical Internet Research. Retrieved August 30, 2010 from
Bevan st al. (2012). Negative emotional and cognitive responses to being unfriended on
Facebook: An exploratory study. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 1458-1464.
Coyne, S. et. al. (2011). I luv u :)!”: A descriptive study of the media use of individuals in
romantic relationships. Family Relations, 60, 150-162.
Gray, N., J., (2005). Health-information-seeking behavior in adolescence: The place of the
Internet. Social Science and Medicine, 60, 1467-1478.
Deters, F. & Mehl, M. (2012). Does posting facebook status updates increasae or decrease
loneliness? An online social networking experiment. Social Psychology and Personality Science,
4, 579-586.
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2006). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit
online material and recreational attitudes toward sex. Journal of Communication 56, 639–660.
Turnage, A., K. (2007). Email flaming behaviors and organizational conflict. Journal of
Computer-Mediated Communication 13, 43–59.
Valkenburg, P., & Jochen, P. (2007). Online communication and adolescent well-being: Testing
the stimulation versus the displacement hypothesis. .Journal of Computer-Mediated
Communication, 12, 1169-1182,
Wolak, J., Mitchell, K., & Finkelhor, D. (2007). Unwanted and wanted exposure to online
pornography in a national sample of youth Internet users. Pediatrics, 119, 247-257
Yan, Z. (2005). Age differences in children’s understanding of the complexity of the Internet.
Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 385-396.
Anderson, C.A., Carnagey, N.L., & Eubanks, J. (2003). Exposure to
violent media: The effects of songs with violent lyrics on aggressive thoughts and feelings.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 960–971.
Greitemeyer, T. (2009). Effects of songs with prosocial lyrics on prosocial thoughts, affect, and
behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, 186–190.
*Munoz-Laboy, M, Weinstein, H., & Parker, R. (2007). The Hip-Hop club scene: Gender,
grinding and sex. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 9, 615–628
Stokes, C.,E., (2007). Representin’ in cyberspace: Sexual scripts, self-definition, and hip hop
culture in Black American adolescent girls’ home pages. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 9, 169–184
*Allen, C. (2006). Discovering “Joe Six Pack” content in television News: The hidden history of
audience research, news consultants, and the Warner Class Model. Journal of Broadcasting and
Electronic Media, 50, 363-382.
*Austin, E., (2006). Benefits and costs of Channel One in a middle school setting and the
role of media-literacy training. Pediatrics, 117, 423 – 433.
Klein, R. (2003). Audience reactions to local TV news. American Behavioral Scientist, 46, 16611672.
Prejudice & Racial Issues:
Bushman, B. J., & Bonacci, A. M. (2004). You`ve got mail: Using e-mail to examine the effect of
prejudiced attitudes on discrimination against Arabs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,
40, 753-759.
*Dixon, T., L., (2005). Skin tone, crime news and social reality judgments: Priming the
stereotype of the dark and dangerous black criminal. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35,
Hoffman, A., & Noriega, C. (2004). Looking for Latino regulars on prime-time television. UCLA
Chicano Studies Research Center, 4 (December).
Johnson J. D., Bushman, B.J., & Dovidiod, J.F. (2008). Support for harmful treatment and
reduction of empathy toward blacks: ‘‘Remnants” of stereotype activation involving Hurricane
Katrina and ‘‘Lil’ Kim”. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 44, 1506–1513
Klein, R. & Naccarato, S. (2003). Broadcast news portrayal of minorities: Accuracy in reporting.
American Behavioral Scientist, 46, 1611-1616.
*Rada, J., A. & Wulfemeyer, K., T. (2005). Color coded: Racial descriptors in television
coverage of intercollegiate sports. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 49, 65-85.
9-11 and Terrorism:
Fahmy, S., Cho, S., Wanta, W., & Song, Y. (2006). Visual agenda-setting after 9-11: Individuals'
emotions, image recall and concern with terrorism. Visual Communication Quarterly, 13, 4-15.
Gigerenzer, G. (2004). Dread risk, September 11, and fatal traffic accidents. Psychological
Science, 15, 286-287.
Myers, D. Do we fear the right things? American Psychological Society Observer, 14, 3.
*Spicer-Brooks, M. (2002). The psychological impact of terrorism coverage: Creating a Prozac
Sexual Behavior:
*2007 report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on sexualization of girls.
Retrieved 5-07.
Collins, R., et al, (2004). Watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual
behavior. Pediatrics, 114, 280-289.
Escobar-Chaves, et al. (2005). Impact of media on adolescent sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Pediatrics, 116 , 303-326.
Eyal, E., Kunkel, D., Biely, E., & Finnerty, K. (2007). Sexual socialization messages on
television programs most popular among teens. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media,
51, 316-337.
Farrar, K., M. (2006). Sexual intercourse on television: Do safe sex messages matter? Journal of
Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 50, 635-650.
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2007). Adolescents’ exposure to a sexualized media environment
and their notions of women as sex objects. Sex Roles 56, 381–395.
*Nylund, D. (2004). When in Rome: Heterosexism, homophobia, and sports talk radio. Journal of
Sport and Social Issues, 28, 136–168.
Tamburro, R. et al (2004). Unsafe and violent behavior in commercials aired during televised
major sporting events. Pediatrics, 114, 694-698.
Farquhar, L, & Meeds, R. (2007) Types of fantasy sports users and their motivations. Journal of
Computer-Mediated Communication 12, 1208–1228.
Special Needs Students: If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an
accommodation, you are encouraged to contact me and the
Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412 648-7890/412
383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your
disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.
Please feel free to discuss any concerns that you might have.