Media Psychology

family-with-individual-tabletsMedia psychology is the field of psychology dedicated to studying the effects of media on individual and group psychology.

What Do Media Psychologists Study?

Media psychologists study a wide range of psychological issues centering around media, its effects, social psychology factors that cause changes in popular media, and the psychological factors that alter the way people understand or perceive media. Topics of interest to media psychologists include, but are not limited to:

  • How, when, and whether violent or graphic media can increase the likelihood of violence
  • How individual psychological factors affect the media a person chooses to consume
  • The effects new technologies such as social networking have on individual and group psychology
  • The effects of media on children
  • How to shape media that is socially responsible or psychologically beneficial, particularly for children and vulnerable groups

Concern about the effect sexual and violent media has on children has been a common focus of media psychologists, who take different approaches to researching this academic puzzle.

What Training Do Media Psychologists Have?

People who study media psychology are most frequently psychologists with an interest in media. They may exclusively study media psychology or only study the media as part of a single research project. Some people who study media psychology have degrees in sociology, advertising, marketing, and other related fields, and may incorporate elements of psychology into their research and media analysis.

A few schools offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in media psychology. The American  Psychological Association’s Society for Media Psychology and Technology (Division 46) is dedicated to research in media psychology as well as preparing psychologists for media appearances. The Journal of Media Psychology publishes research and news in the field of media psychology.


  1. Society for media psychology and technology. (n.d.). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

Last Updated: 08-11-2015

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  • Joanne Saxon-Green

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Media psychology is a field filled with endless possibilities. In the next decade its important that we shape it and not allow it to shape us.

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