Communication and media psychology

Media is a very extensive and wide concept, as well as psychology in that matter, which contributes to the misconception of an exact definition. Media psychology can be defined as the application of psychological science to human interaction with technology and media. Though it is a very broad field in a rather rapidly evolving digital landscape; it does add value to human behaviour when using these media technologies.

There's no doubt that people of all ages have access to these technologies, since they are everywhere, and that affects the study of psychology and the positive and negative impact of media on our daily lives. In order for us to understand the implications of technology, we need psychology, as it is the key contributor to western culture in the 20th century. Media psychology emerged in a time of need: people are much more aware of the effect these new technologies have on our lives. They are willing to understand more about the media applications and the new information and communication technologies. Media psychology has a goal to understand more about the questions around this topic, and that, by combining an equal understanding of human behavior and emotions with an equal understanding of media technology. To put it simply, this type of media study evaluates the interactive process of the system.

Not all people working in media psychology are psychologists, but rather practitioners communicators, researchers, mental health providers, consultants, educators or developers, and scholars seeking to address the lack of intellectual knowledge on the subject by bringing different approaches (anthropology, media studies, information sciences…) while recognizing that communication, cognition, and emotions are fundamental and essential to the human experience. These new technologies are introducing new ways of play, work, and communication. In that context, media psychology can help people adjust to the fast pace of the technological process, hold content creators accountable to professional standards, and even remind people that the media experience varies from a person to another, depending on their culture, the person itself as well as the context and the purpose of their use. New media communication tools are sensory and intellectual.

Technology keeps on evolving every day, and so, we are forced to change how we view the world, media psychology is the answer to all these dilemmas. It seeks to understand the interactions happening among individuals, groups, society, and the new media technologies in order for us to make better decisions in our daily ventures on the net.

Media psychology is the interface between personalized experiences and all forms of media (new and old: cinema, radio, TV, augmented media environment, mobile technologies…). Its specialty comes from applying understood theories in psychology to the use of graphics, images, and sounds in the many forms of communication technologies. In order for companies and individuals to produce compelling products and use these new technologies rightfully, an understanding of media and the psychology behind it is a must in our ever-growing and evolving society.

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