Jul 11, 2019 in Literature

Intersection of Psychology and the Media

Media psychology is the intersection of media and human experience. Media psychology can also be described as the practical study of what happens when people network with media as consumers, producers, and distributors through the lens of psychology. Media psychology is also significantly more complex than concentrating on media as a manifestation of culture as it covers the incorporation of media technology into life in a many numbers of ways. People all over the world are now working with media in many ways across many platforms as distributors, consumers and producers of information of all kinds: sound, visual images, text, video and color both asynchronously and synchronously ((Pamela, www.psychologytoday.com).).

Media psychology is all about understanding the relationship between people and media technologies in the situation of the modern culture. Media technologies works as a system, with a repetitive feedback ring between users and the producers, thus equally influential. As much as people would like to lay blame on media for various reasons, the media cannot be separated from the society and it is here to stay. Human experience will not happen in absence of the modern technological, social, and political environment (Pamela, www.psychologytoday.com).

Media technologies are ever-present, with prospective roles in everything from healthcare, science, education, advocacy, business and public policy and entertainment. If you conduct research to assess website design for pre scholars, games that promoted unselfish behavior, designing educational initiatives that use developing technologies like virtual worlds and increased reality to generate immersive learning environments, how technology knowledge influences personality development, and how mental representation influence  interpretation of information, you will see media psychology in action.

Being familiar with the interactive and vibrant relationship between media and humans is key to a more precise and useful understanding of the human and media experience that is very important for the effective development, assessment and assembly of media that can make a positive input to life and society as a whole. Psychology provides a strong set of tools that makes people to consider the repercussion of personal differences, group conducts, formation of identity, cognitive styles, visual processing, developmental pathways,  attention, persuasion, sense of place, self-efficacy, social cognition,  and a lot  of other really good stuff.

One of the best examples where media meets psychology is an advertisement of a T mobile company. The advert which is titled “welcome back” strikes into joyful side of humanity. Although it was shot in Heathrow airport and screened in United Kingdom, it is a good warm up for the Americans who are preparing for thanksgiving holiday which is also the most notorious day to travel in the whole year. The advert is very entertaining and will make anyone to look forward to the holidays and at least see family and friends if you are not planning to travel. Thanking holiday’s main purpose is to share a meal with the ones you love and show appreciation for the blessings. It is not about hiding things, wrapping stuff, buying stuff, or watching a ball drop. It is about a norm of breath taking, reflecting on what you have, looking around you, and most importantly giving thanks. For  a year that has been very difficult for many people, the T mobile video is a good reminder that people are a vital part of a family, love and connections are vital for togetherness. T mobile video is a good example of positive media as it shows the importance of team work and cheers every one up (http://mprcenter.org).

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The T mobile “welcome back” video also has some psychological impact which are beyond the brand’s tag line which says “Life’s for sharing”. With the events of dancing and singing at the arrival gate, the emotional impact is lifted by the hidden meaning in the act of reconnecting and travel. A group of arriving passengers, friends and families of different cultures and ages are met with and song joy, creating a story that strikes into our own memories, emotions and experiences. The action relates to the words of the songs which then creates a powerful and personally significant experience for the viewer. The joy is overwhelming, but it’s not just about the performance it’s about the deep-seated power of connection. You can see it in the faces of the onlookers who are overwhelmed by emotions and weep in joy. The advertisement can be described as very clever. A good brand improvement is very important if you want your business to run well. Apart from providing employment, it doesn’t take away the wonderful experience of those who took part in the advert and the millions who are watching it and at least  think about their families, joy travel and appreciate the next person we come to meet; the happiness (http://mprcenter.org).

One person who viewed the video said that it jump started his holiday spirit. He thought about that day. He imagined how his family would brave the roads and the skies to come and crowd around a table, piano bench, the windows seats and all chairs so that they can sit together, give a lot of toasts, are grateful for each other, forgive each other, crack jokes and everyone feeling connected. This is how media can impact on someone psychologically. It happens without the individual realizing it. This can impact a lot in the individual life and can even shape his personality or can change his/her attitudes towards something. It can also ignite something that was planned to be a low key event and turn to be a huge event and an emotional one.

Media is known to change public awareness. Because information moves around so quickly and freely, it brings about a new baseline for change. Another example is the Haiti earthquake.  People from all over the world got the information from the media and the pleas for donations from the Haitians themselves and from other organizations providing humanitarian assistance. The scenes that the media showed were very moving such that even before people were requested to donate, most of them were already looking for channels to deliver their donations. While a lot of people were moved to text in donations, some were committed enough to board a plane and go to Haiti to assist in helping the affected people. The people had a new appreciation of the sheer size of the disaster in a part of the world that could have never ringed a bell in their consciousness. The media coverage gave it urgency much more bigger than getting highlights in the evening news. The media helped the disaster catch people’s attention from all over the world. Most of them were moved and made donations. The horrible of injured people, dead people, people buried alive, mass burials, hungry people and many more made people to put themselves in their shoes. As a result the whole was in a sober mood because of the scenes courtesy of the media (http://mprcenter.org).).

Media technologies have altered the psychological impact of communications by diverge our expectations about participation and personal agency. The capability to act, even if it is sending a face book post on American elections, allows us to feel a little bit of involvement in events we might not otherwise feel. This gives people a feeling that they are getting information from someone in their network which is more persuasive reason being that it has context and a word of mouth validation.

The human reaction to resist change is quite normal. Humans also have an added gift of discriminating memory which helps to maintain cognitive comfort. We sulk for the good old days and utilize memories of past times as a baseline model for how the world should be and how things should work. Media psychology helps to bridge this gap by making us better understand some of the repercussion of technological change. Researchers operationalize, theorize, and quantify the force of media. Research on media psychology is difficult. It is complicated by the fact that it is difficult to actually measure things that are so incorporated in the structure of everyday life. It is exceptionally tricky to separate out puzzling variables in our multifaceted world. Today we are media producers, consumers and distributors and our choices have direct affect what others produce for we to see (http://www.apadiv31.org).

Media and psychology goes hand in hand and are here to stay. They are very important in the day to day life. We need media psychology as media technologies are propagating at a very high speed with new gadgets and toys entering the market every day. These technologies are bringing new capabilities that are changing the way we carry out our work, communicate and even play. Media psychology helps to add value in various ways which include: helps people keep up with the rapid development of technology, holding journalists and authors responsible to and meet standards when new reports on research are made available. Another one is to remind people that experience of technologies in media differs from culture, person and what a person is trying to achieve. It also helps to explain the difference between causality and correlation (http://www.apadiv31.org).

The fast introduction of technology is worrying and has generated a number of reactions, from eagerness to distrust. As technology evolves our lives, we are required to alter how we view the world. Human beings are really very poor at that. Media psychology is the solution to this dilemma. It is a moderately new field and difficult to define. Media psychology seeks to understand the relationships among groups, individuals, society, and technology and make some sense out of it so we that can make decisions and live our lives in a productive and positive way. 

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