Let’s Move Media Psychology Into Mainstream Education


Media Psychology is increasingly emerging as a specialty in psychology, communications and technology.

Bernard Luskin, EdD

Our APA Division 46 Media Psychology has become “Society for Media Psychology and Technology.”  As incoming president for 2014, I recently engaged with many psychologists, practitioners in various fields, researchers, industry leaders, education, and lay individuals to explore needs and opportunities in media psychology and technology.  Based on their suggestions, I have developed the following priorities for our Society that we will continue to refine for our 2014 annual convention:

  1. Develop partnerships with other divisions to network and integrate media psychology throughout APA.
  2. Increase membership in the Society for Media Psychology and Technology consistent with the increased interest in the study of media psychology and technology.
  3. Urge Division 46 members who teach in many colleges and universities to initiate courses, masters and doctoral degree programs in Media Psychology and Technology and Media Studies.
  4. Share the many theories in psychology that are studied in media psychology programs so that there is a growing epistemology of theories and share research from the study of media effects so the foundational courses and programs include a broad range of knowledge about psychology applied to media and technology.*


In today’s world, Media Psychology is a force in social media, telehealth and teletherapy, online education, in and out of the classroom and virtual classroom, in entertainment consulting, traditional media interviews, providing on camera expertise, virtual and augmented reality therapies, consumer products, brand development, marketing, advertising, product placement, game theory, and the military.  Media Psychology is central in Cinema, including film analysis, media assisted rehabilitation, telecommuting communications, effective public health, public service, public policy, and political campaigns.  Media Psychology is applied in medical education and practice and in all forms of publishing.  It is also important in developing various technology centric devices.  These are a few examples that could be included in an increasingly extensive identification of areas where competence in Media psychology is valuable.  Each field has its own constituencies, organizations, associations, and college and university programs.  This reality substantiates the need for new certificates, courses and degree programs in Media Psychology.

Identifiable new opportunities and positions are rapidly emerging in all areas of social media and education with the explosion of MOOCs and the growth of distance and blended learning. All types of publishing are developing media dimensions, and health and medical related media education is moving forward apace.  These growing areas need professionals including solution architects and highly competent practitioners and scholars who understand both theories in psychology and state-of-the-art communications technology.  Affected fields include writers, producers, programmers, engineers, designers, directors, artists, cinematographers, public relations and advertising specialists, technologists and others who, more and more, study and apply media psychology to their work.

There Is a Particular Need in Education

Educational institutions will increasingly need new faculty and staff who understand higher concepts in media arts and sciences.  Faculty members are needed who understand that media communication tools are both sensory and intellectual and who can provide the needed leadership for future education.  Full members, student members and associate members from business, industry, publishing, etc., are encouraged to join the Society and participate in the discussions, on the listserv and in the various activities of Division 46.  Simply go to the Division 46 website to will find instructions regarding membership.  I am easy to reach if anyone wants to talk about membership or the division.

The future of media psychology is bright as a sub-specialty in psychology.  New courses, certificate and degree programs need to be offered by colleges and universities.  Key leadership should come from the members of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology.


Luskin, B. J. F., L. (1998). Division 46 Taskforce Study of New Career Opportunities in the Emerging Field of Media Psychology  (46, Trans.) (1 ed., Vol. 1, pp. 101).  American Psychological Association.

Luskin, B. (2002, September). Media Psychology: A Field Whose Time is Here, The National Psychologist, p. 6.  Reprinted in the California Psychologist, May/June, 2003.

Luskin, B. (2013).  Defining and Describing Media Psychology, Psychology Today Blog, The Media Psychology Effect: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-media-psychology-effect.

*For a list of psychology theories I cover in my introductory courses in media psychology, please email me for a copy.

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