President-Elect Column: Media Psychology and Technology for Good

Jerri Lynn Hogg

Jerri Lynn Hogg

Division 46 members using media psychology and technology in innovative ways to make it matter.

Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD

Smartphones, tablets, and even gaming platforms allow us to engage with media, participate in the digital world, and proactively create content.  Growth advancements in tech devices provide us with multiple opportunities to engage media and technology to create a sense of positive health and well-being.  Technology fuels the global reach to touch more lives and cultivate deeper connections.

From assistive technologies that can aid children with spectrum disorders to using virtual reality to overcome phobias members of The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Division 46, are using media psychology and technology for good.

Fran Blumberg, previous co-chair of the New Technologies Committee, is researching children’s attention and problem solving in digital learning settings (funded by the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation).  She edited three books in the past two years on children and digital games, learning by playing video games, and advertising to children.

Ryan Niemiec, co-chair of the Media Watch Committee, continues his work on positive psychology with a new book, The Mindfulness and Character Strengths:  A Practical Guide to Flourishing (2014) and co-authored with Danny Wedding, Positive Psychology at the Movies.

James C. Kaufman, professor at the University of Connecticut, is conducting a series of studies to find ways to enhance creativity in the college classroom, and to increase equity and fairness in admissions in college by using creativity as a criterion.

Pamela Rutledge, member-at-large, is getting much media attention for her work on the positive aspects and social validation of selfies.

Garry Hare, director of the Fielding Graduate University Media Psychology MA and PhD programs, is developing an app: The Remember Project: Extending the Emotional Impact of Memorials and Public Environments Through Personalized Augmented Reality.

Joanne Broder Sumerson, Membership Committee chair and editor for Psychology of Popular Media Culture, is working on two 2015 special issues, Gender and Media and Video Games.

Keely Kolmes, national speaker and clinician in private practice, is co-designing a workshop on the “how to” of tweeting and podcasting.  The workshop includes the use of Getting Better, a post-treatment client satisfaction survey that she developed to help clinicians provide a counterpoint to online consumer review sites.

Dana Klisanin, winner of the Division 46 2012 early career scientific contribution award, is working with a team of partners to develop the Cyberhero League, a 21st century scout-like program that enables young people to use their tech-savvy to benefit other people, animals, and the environment.

Tunisha Singleton, a PhD student at Fielding Graduate University and graduate student member, is creating a non-profit group called Artletics to  use media and sports to meet the emotional and psychological needs of at-risk youths.

Brad Bushman, professor at Ohio State University, recently completed research linking prosocial video games with decreased aggression and increased prosocial behaviors.

Chris Ferguson, member-at-large elect, is currently conducting research on commercial video game playing as a stress reducer for adolescents.

Karen Dill-Shackleford, editor of the Media Psychology Handbook, is doing research on how live-theater and entertainment media can be used to change beliefs.

Bernie Luskin, our current president, is working on research on using media to monitor, measure, and mentor children.

Our theme for the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto, Canada is Media Psychology and Technology for Good.  We look forward to featuring many of our members’ work in this area in our program at Toronto.

In December I plan to hold several one-hour online discussion salons designed for members to talk about their work, research, and interests in media psychology and technology.  I hope you will join me.  I look forward to hearing about your work and how you are using media psychology and technology for good.

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