What Is The Impact Of Media Psychology

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 8, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

The media plays a huge part in our world today. No matter what, when you turn on the TV, you'll see a news report or something of that matter. Media plays a focal route in our behavior, and even how we behave. How does media psychology affect us? Well, read on to find out.

We Sometimes Forget To Take Care Of Our Mental Health

What Is Media Psychology?

Media psychology focuses on how human behavior interacts with both media and technology. It isn't just mass media or even the content of the media; it's also how the technology behaves, and how it impacts, create a design, and actually can share the behavior. It focuses on technology advancement and uses critical analysis, along with the investigation, to develop a model of the perception on the media. It is used as a whole in society, or even on an individual level. Lots of times, it involves the consulting, design, or even the production of different media. While they do sometimes do different showcase media, it's more than that; it understands how the brain behaves to media.

Theories On Media psychology

Different theories involve the perception, cognition, and the human components in regards to the surroundings and experience. It also draws upon the development and the narrative psychologies from neuroscience psychologies as well. They're from there used as the focal part of the psychology, and the discipline as well. These theories include different dimensions, semiotics, and semantics, along with social cognition and neuroscience.

Currently, there are a few major theories that are brought forward, and they are as follows;

  • The Affective disposition theory(ADT): this is used to differentiate the perspectives on different forms of media, with attention focus. It is based on the emotions and opinions of the person towards characters, enjoyment, and appreciation from people, those individuals that form feelings about characters that are both positive and negative, and the media that focuses on the conflict, and how people react.
  • Simulation theory(ST): this is a theory that argues that the mental simulations that happen don't fully leave out the external information that's near the user. Rather, it's stimulated and reshaped into memories to run the simulation that's there. It's why the user creates experiences without technology, simply because of the relevance of the internal processing there.
  • Theory of Play: This is a psychological theory that plays a key part in media enjoyment, with the idea being that it has a more conceptual connection to the presence. The activity of playing gives consistent results, and this theory is characterized by three things: that it's attractive and intrinsically motivated, that it implies a change in our perceived reality, that it's frequently repeated, and the theory of play was based on explanations from different psychologists, and it's based on how an individual uses media to be satisfied, and how the media changes ones life. The play is self-contained, but people are impacted both negatively and positively from what they see around them, and looking at the different forms, it can showcase how someone reacts to the desires in their environment.

These different theories play a major part since it's how we as humans interact with the different aspects of the media, and both the positive and the negative impact that this has on it.

The Effects, Good And Bad, In Media Psychology

There are both good and bad media effects at play when we look at media psychology. Media, especially with the new additions of technology, plays a major part in the way people react to various situations. Let's discuss the good and the bad.

The good parts:

  • People are getting smarter due to the assisted learning and the interactive elements that the media, especially video games, play into
  • The nexus between learning and the media is growing, and we are getting new and more informative means to learn
  • It allows for people to understand crucial elements of this
  • it's improved communication among many people and different cultures
  • Has given girls a chance to advance in the field of science, due to girls engaging in interactive play and other elements.

Media, in general, has played a major part in our lives, but like with anything good, there are some bad parts of it too, including the following:

  • Due to the exposure to so much and such fast-paced media, our attention spans are decreasing. For example, if you think about the latest news, we may react to it every so often, and the reactions may last a couple of days, but then people forget about it. However, it's also started to create a lot more cases of ADD in research, especially with such exposure to so much media stimulation.
  • There are more media-assisted crimes, such as identity theft coming to play.
  • The violence in the media has caused people to become desensitized to violence, and it also may facilitate various sexual acts. Violence becomes a contagion via observational learning, and the agreement socially, which is what media does.
  • Sleep time has decreased because people spend more time with media than sleeping.
  • Internet addiction disorder and other media issues have come about as a result of this.

The media isn't inherently bad, but it has created a huge impact in our society today, and it does bring forth more problems in some cases than what we've looked at within the past.

Why Do We Need To Have Media Psychology?

While there are some bad elements to how media psychology has impacted us, there are a lot of good parts to media psychology, and it's important to understand these elements. If you think about it, we as humans do respond to and adapt to technology fast, but some aren't as fast. Media psychology is a good way to adapt to these truly, and it certainly can help with it.

Then there is the fact that it allows for journalists along with authors to be held accountable when new research reports are being brought forward, since they have to apply it to their journalism, and it will in turn help with making different headlines.

We Sometimes Forget To Take Care Of Our Mental Health

It also is good to help with understanding how the media impacts us. How does one new news report impact people? How does the slight change in words from say CNN to Fox News impact the way we think about it? It can play a huge part in this, and it is a huge aspect of how we understand the psychology of people.

Then there is the fact that it reminds people that media experiences vary based on the person, the culture, the context, and what they are trying to achieve. Someone getting a report about a person may react differently than another person, since they do work with the impact that this has on this.

Finally, it helps people understand that the sky isn't falling and that it isn't as bad as it is. It helps people understand why aspects are sensationalized, and also the impact of media on our brains, and how we may end up assuming the worst. It does happen, especially if you look at how some react to news reports and such. Media psychology helps out with this, and it can make your life easier in certain manners, and it can help you to become more positive, along with productive in many different ways.

How Media Psychology Helps With Fear Of Change

Fear of change is a huge part of media psychology, and how humans act. Lots of us tend to fear change, and we may end up shooting the messenger instead of looking at the technology behind it. Being able to understand why we may act the way that we do, and how it's okay to understand the difference between fearing change, and also understanding how that change impacts us, can play a major role in the way we react to society and the news that we get. Media psychology helps us understand, and can eliminate that fear of the unknown, and the danger that lies within it.

Learn More!

Media psychology does impact us in many different ways, and if you feel like you need some help with issues that you have regarding media, you can talk to a psychologist about this, and then they can help you with the afflictions that you have. You as a person can grow from this, and in turn, it can help you better understand why you may act the way that you do, and how to rectify your behavior, and to understand the purpose of the media.

The media is very impactful in all our lives, and understanding the psychology behind it is super important, and can help you with bettering your own life, and your wellness and happiness as well, since it teaches you why the media acts in the ways it does.

Helpful mental health resources delivered to your inbox
For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.