Icon PSY 355

PSY 355 Psychology & Media in the Digital Age

This page was last modified on January 21, 2018

Boulevard du Temple
by Louis Daguerre (1838)

Boulevard du Temple

Paris      First Human Enlarged     First Human Enlarged Child

Selfie with Pope Francis
by Fabio M. Ragona, August 29, 2013, via Twitter

Pope Selfie

How did it come to this? LOL!

Should Pope Francis have allowed himself to be included in a "selfie" with a group of young adults in the middle of St. Peter's Basilica?

What about the picture? Is it disrespectful? Does it somehow demean or make the pope less important?

Should the photographer (Fabio Ragona) have sold the photo for profit? If not, why not? If so, why?

What makes a photo like that possible?

1991 February • Presidents' Birthday Sale at Radio Shack
(Original link @ TrendingBuffalo)

2016 • Galaxy Smartphone S®6 & iPhone 6SPlus

1991 Radio Shack ad    Galaxy S6    iPhone 6Splus

1991 Advertisement
  •     All weather personal stereo, $11.88
  •     AM/FM clock radio, $13.88
  •     In-Ear Stereo Phones, $7.88
  •     Microthin calculator, $4.88
  •     Tandy 100 TL/3 computer (games, word-processing), $1599.00
  •     VMS Camcorder (video recording), $799.00
  •     Mobile cellular telephone, $199.00
  •     Mobile CB, $49.95
  •     20-memory speed-dial phone, $29.95
  •     Deluxe portable CD player (80 min. music), $159.95
  •     10-channel desktop scanner, $99.95
  •     Easiest-to-use phone answerer (voice mail), $49.95
  •     Handheld cassette tape recorder, $29.95
  •     Phone Book, no cost.
1991 Advertisement

Total cost: $3054.82

In 2015 equivalent to $5323.19*

Galaxy S®6
  • $199 upfront & 80/mo for 24 mo (total = $2160) ATT
iPhone 6S Plus 64 GB
  • $255 upfront & $21.25/mo for 28 mos. (total =$850) + Plan ATT
  • $130 upfront & $20/mo for 24 mo. (total = $610) + Plan TMobile

* data from USInflationCalculator.com

Digital Media <========> Psychology

The questions I am asking this semester include the following...

General Foundations
  • According to psychology, how can we understand what it means to be a "human person" and why are media important for persons like ourselves?
  • According to media studies, what do we actually mean by "media"?
  • What are the central features of media and, most centrally, why do media function as part of an ecological system?
  • What do students actually do online and “in real life” (IRL) using digital media
  • How are media studied by researchers: media effects, media as ecology, etc.?
  • What are behavioral addictions and are they real? Do the users of contemporary digital media experience significant and destructive forms of a behavioral addiction to that media, e.g., cell phones, social media, gaming online?

The Major Topics (student presented topics in red)
  • Celebrities, Fandoms, and Audiences: How We Relate to Media Personalities*
  • Consumer Behavior: How Online Media Influence Buyers and Help Sell Products*
  • Disinhibition Online: Cyberbullying, Trolling, and Self-Revelation*
  • Ethnicity and Difference: How Media Shape Our Perceptions of One Another in a Diverse and Multiracial Society*
  • Fake News? Propaganda, Politics, and Media Manipulation*
  • Neuropsychology of Contemporary Media
  • Privacy, Surveillance, and the Internet of Things (IOT): Is Technology Intruding in Our Lives Too Much?*
  • The Psychology of the Walt Disney Company
  • Sexuality Online
  • Violence in the Media: Traditional vs. Online Media*

What do you need to do before our class on Wednesday?

Read through the Syllabus

Look over the course schedule of assignments and readings
  • Textbook plus multiple readings available online or distributed by me.
  • You will be responsible for the readings in class discussions as well as on quizzes and the test
  • We will use a lot of the time which has no specific topic listed for discussions.
I am handing out four (4) items today:
  • Informed Consent form: sign it and give it back to me if you are staying in the class
  • Digital Media User Survey. Read instructions. Due next Monday on January 29. 1. BUT, I want you to spend 3 days before you fill it out paying attention to your use of media. Do not hand it in before next week.
  • Digital Media Reflection. Instructions for an essay due in 2 weeks on Feb.14. You can only begin this reflection after completing the survey and attending next week's classes.
  • Group Topic Choice form. The 7 topics in red above will be the responsibility of students to gather research and present. Look over these topics and give me a listing of your preferences from 1st to 7th of what you might like to work on. This is due by Wed., Jan 31, next week.

This page was first posted on 1/21/14