Navigating Media

From the ever-expanding Googleverse to the snarky payoff of celebrity gossip, life is splintered and refracted in a million ways by contemporary communication tools. The media has a profound impact on how we perceive ourselves and our world. The smart media user will learn to consume information judiciously and employ social networking tools to enhance one's goals and complement one's personality, rather than being drowned in the Internet's flood of information.

Recent Posts on Media

Facebook Introduces Suicide Prevention Support

People talk about sadness, depression, and even suicide on Facebook. This week, the social media giant rolled out new tools to offer help to those at risk.

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

Diets: What We Don't Know

Sometimes you need a guide to the guidelines.

Where No Woman Has Gone Before? Empowerment in Prometheus

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D. on March 05, 2015 in Intersections
In the sci-fi future, gender stereotypes persist, and opportunities exist.

Jodi Arias Update

The Jodi Arias jury deliberations continue.

An OCEAN Far Away: Big 5 Personality Factors in Star Wars

Which Star characters characters are the most open to experience while others are set in their ways? Who's the most conscientious or lackadaisy? Who are the extraverts, who's most agreeable, and who's most neurotic? Help rate the characters in order to find out together.

What Does “Facebook Stalking” Mean for Your Relationship?

Social networking websites like Facebook give us unprecedented access to others’ lives, and the opportunity to spy on our romantic partners like never before. A new study investigates how this kind of Facebook surveillance is related to the types of relationships we have.

Why The Internet Is So Addictive

We often over-use the Internet as an escape hatch from our daily lives, which can eventually develop into a technology addiction.

The Blue/Black-White/Gold Dress & Questioning Reality

The blue and black & white and gold dress debate is actually very deep and profound.

How Old is an Old(er) Woman?

The new BOND female lead is FOUR YEARS OLDER than Edith Bunker. There's more for women over fifty to do with their hands these days.

The Girl Who Wanted to be Spock: A Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Good Thinking
Spock was stable as a ocean-liner in stormy seas, a place of solace and practicality when crisis hit. He saw things clearly and keenly. And my fascination with him made me become a cognitive scientist.

Winning Moves in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

By Skip Dine Young Ph.D. on February 27, 2015 in Movies and the Mind
"Searching for Bobby Fischer" is a movie about greatness in chess. But more than that, it is about maintaining compassion as one pursues excellence. It is also a caution to parents who may be tempted to overly identify with their children's success.

What Can We Learn About Love From ‘The Bachelor’?

By Goal Auzeen Saedi Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Millennial Media
Nineteen seasons in, and I'm still shamefully watching the show. As a psychologist, I can’t help but be fascinated by this dramatized reality show. As a girl, I’m sitting with my big bowl of popcorn secretly hoping there is a fairytale ending to it all. This begs the question—how much of the show is real, and what (if anything) can we learn from it?

Red vs. Blue: Which Should You Choose?

By Jamie Madigan Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in Mind Games
Has anyone ever done research on whether playing on the red team or the blue gives one a mental edge in games? Yep.

Waldorf Schools: Are They Way Behind the Times?

By Maureen D Healy on February 24, 2015 in Creative Development
Are computers a must-have for today's tech savvy kids?

Empire: A New Model for Bipolar Disorder on TV

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Culture in Mind
Empire is a new hit TV show on the Fox Network that not only breaks ground as a black family drama based in hip-hop culture, but it shows a rare character with bipolar disorder who is not falling apart at the seams. Andre, the eldest son of a family music dynasty, has a degree from an elite school and (so far) successfully runs the family's multi-faceted business empire.

Missing That 'Vast Wasteland'

The real problem is that when people tell you about a series they've been watching or have watched, they never just say it's "pretty good" or "worth watching." They say it's "great!" or "incredible!" and that you just HAVE to watch it. Back in the old days, I don't remember anyone saying, "You just HAVE to watch 'Lassie'!"

How to Survive a Slasher Film

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Do you think you're trapped in a slasher film? A new research study published in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture provides an in-depth look at Final Girls over three decades of slasher films and what it was that enabled them to survive to the end of the movie. The study results may surprise you.

Health Insurance—Insuring Insecurity

Corruption breeds cynicism—welcome to health insurance

Why Does Anyone Love Men Who Won't Love Back?

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on February 19, 2015 in Talking About Trauma
Guest writer Aviva Philipp-Muller examines why Hollywood glorifies characters who exhibit a dismissing-avoidant attachment style.

Talking Online Can Be Life Changing For Sexual Minority Guys

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in Connected
The Internet can be an important source of health information & social support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) teens. Our recent study builds on this finding. We conducted message board discussions with gay, bisexual, and queer teen guys. While these may seem like old news, these can be a great way to bring people with similar interest together.

Why We Remember What We Want to Remember

When public figures erroneously report on events that didn’t actually happen in their lives, the whole world knows about it. However, false memories are a common occurrence in everyone’s day-to-day thinking. Remembering what you want to remember may be more a matter of identity than of failing memory.

Why Does the Fifty Shades Movie Look Like Domestic Abuse?

By Stephen Snyder M.D. on February 16, 2015 in SexualityToday
In the theater, I realized that the idea of Fifty Shades just being fantasy and therefore innocuous doesn't completely work. Some of the fantasy on-screen struck me as too close to the things people put up with in real life.

Why Is There So Much Miscommunication Via Email and Text?

Why Is There So Much Miscommunication Via Email and Text? How we interpret electronic messages is shaped by our feelings. By Melissa Ritter, Ph.D.

The Psychology of Brian Williams

By Stanton Peele on February 14, 2015 in Addiction in Society
Brian Williams' transgressions result from a key source of male insecurity—not playing on the high school football team. Some men may never overcome this "shortcoming" no matter how famous and admired they become.

Obama on BuzzFeed: Selfie Sticks & Health Insurance

Obama's BuzzFeed video 'Things Everybody Does but Doesn’t Talk About' shows him mugging about, taking selfies and playing air basketball to get young people to visit HealthCare.gov. For leaders, there is a difficult balance between what’s human and relatable and what engenders confidence. How important is that balance?

Why We Need Fantasy

What exactly do we get out of watching romantic relationships on television?

Brian Williams Misremembers

Could America's most trusted news anchor be a pathological liar?

Who's Telling The Truth?

By Russ Gerber on February 13, 2015 in Our Health
What will be your impact on the moral atmosphere?

Joni Mitchell on New York Magazine: Is The Photo Disturbing?

I hope to see my idols looking and sounding as if they are enjoying themselves as they reach the season of harvest (not so very far away from any of us). That's what I long for but very rarely see.