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

Getting to the Source

Reflecting on all the buzz about the "Reproducibility Project," I thought it might be worthwhile to provide some perspective from one of the 270 cast members in the Collaboration about what the experience was like - and intended to be - on our side of the fence.

Is Your Crap Detector Working?

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in BrainSnacks
Are you being hypnotized and intellectually anesthetized by the constant flood of entertainment imagery in the popular culture? As writer Ernest Hemingway advised, maybe it's time to tune up your "crap detector."

The Degenerate Anthropophaginian

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
True crime author places Packer tale in context of cannibalism and crimes in American history.

When Social Media Goes Too Far

At last count, the video depicting the tragic fatal shooting of a young news reporter in Virginia had garnered over 10 million views on social media. Despite warnings of its extremely graphic content- or perhaps because of that warning- as soon as the video was posted it went viral. Why is it that so many people were drawn to something so disturbing?

Mass Shootings and Mass Media

By Helen M Farrell M.D. on August 29, 2015 in Frontpage Forensics
It is easy for violent acts to become sensationalized in the age of social media and live streaming. It's important to recognize the negative impact of tantalizing news stories to our brains and use our technological tools to enhance community support.

What Scientists Know and Need to Share with the Public

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Many scientific studies fail to replicate and this is okay. It is part of the process. However, scientists and the journalists who write about science need to do a better job explaining to the public how science works.

The Psychology of Gestures

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in A Sideways View
Think of a rude gesture, and when you last used it. Think of a famous TV star and their peculiar and very personal gestures. What information are these gestures conveying? What can we read into head, hand and foot movements?

Is Psychological Science Bad Science?

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in Good Thinking
In the largest replication effort to date, researchers could not replicate over half of the psychology studies targeted. Here is why that doesn't spell doom for psychological science.

Murder and the Digital Self

By Ian H. Robertson Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in The Winner Effect
Social media have changed us into directors of scripts of our own lives. This creates a detachment and possibly a change in "self", making us spectators and would-be journalists who act out our scripted fantasies, which in some tragic cases such as the Virginia live TV shootings, include murder.

Attracting Millennial Job Applicants using Social Media

By Eddy Ng Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 in Diverse and Competitive
How to Increase Applicant Reach and Reduce Recruiting Costs

Virginia Shooting: When Tragedy Hits Social Media

Posting events on social media is normal. It is how we communicate. Senseless acts of violence, like the Smith Mountain Virginia shooting, are meant to be public. Social media becomes a vehicle for both the defiant statements of someone who feels powerless and the expression of empathy and sorrow for the senseless loss of life.

Algorithms Predict Schizophrenia with 100% Accuracy

New algorithms can predict future psychosis with 100% accuracy by detecting disjointed thoughts in speech.

Another Mass Shooting

Yesterday the nation was shocked by another mass murder. How can parents talk with their children about these events? Here are some tips for parents as a guide to help kids deal with exposure to violent events.

Could Psychiatrists Have Prevented the Virginia Shootings?

As reports began to appear of the disturbed background of that shooter, the media seems to have universally decided when reporting that case, that mass shootings are readily explained by severe mental illness.It is possible that the same media reaction and deductions may follow these tragic Virginia Live TV shootings, though it is early days in coverage of the case.

Movie Review: "I'll See You In My Dreams"

By Kristi Pikiewicz PhD on August 25, 2015 in Meaningful You
At first glance, Carol Petersen (Blythe Danner) appears to be living the dream. At second glance, it looks like Carol is not so much living a dream as she is sleepwalking through life.

When the Pay to Win Button Backfires in Video Games

By Jamie Madigan Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Mind Games
How do players react and what social comparisons do they make when others pay real money for in-game advantages?

The Surprising Power of Conspiracy Theories

Can merely being exposed to popular conspiracy theories make you less pro-social?

"Like" Me: Why Girls Need More Breaks from Social Media

As a parent you are probably thinking that this constant pressure to be “Liked” sounds like an exhausting way to live. Who can relax when everything you say and do is analyzed, photographed, posted for an audience, and evaluated? To feel you have to be on at all times,and if you go for too long without checking your phone or computer, life might leave you behind?

Media Use, Escapism and Procrastination

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 in Don't Delay
We use media for many purposes including information, entertainment, social interaction and to escape the stresses of daily life. A recent study by a German colleague answers the question: “Is this escapism the same as procrastination?”

Men, Women & Children (& Technology)

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 in The First Impression
In what ways is the digital world changing what it means to be human? This question, and many other provocative ones, are raised by Reitman's new film, Men, Women & Children

The Psychology of Dual Enrollment: The K14 Model

Dual enrollment offers a pathway that enables high school students to concurrently enroll in college courses and earn credits toward high school diploma and a college degree. This is a breakthrough strategy and a must read in order to have the full perspective!

Media Fail to Respect Crime Victims

Repeated crime exposure through excessive media coverage re-traumatizes victims.

Media Violence and the Real World

Debate about whether violent video games encourage real-life violence rages on.

The Movie "Trainwreck" Isn't Just A Rom-Com

In Trainwreck Amy Schumer points out the holes in the idea (that many Millennials have) that the work of feminism has been done, that drinking or having sex or working “like a man” makes women equal, that the casual, commitment-free sex they’re having is really their choice.

Ashley Madison May Be Too Honest For Our Times

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Love, Inc
37 Million Ashley Madison users have had their personal information released by hackers who don't like the idea of a website for married people who want to have an affair. But these hactiprudes are not heroes.

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Mental Wealth
By disrupting sleep, suppressing the brain's frontal lobe, raising stress hormones, and fracturing attention, daily screen-time is making children become the worst version of themselves.

Humor, Screens & Children

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in Screen Time
A sense of humor can lend itself as a protective factor for troubled or uncertain situations one may have through life’s journey. Included in this piece are some ways to think about humor development as applied to current children’s television programming from birth to elementary school years.

10 Techniques For Overcoming Speaker's Anxiety

By Joe Navarro M.A. on August 17, 2015 in Spycatcher
We have all experienced the nervousness and anxiety of having to speak in public. Here are ten easy ways professional speakers overcome the jitters.

Grief Out Of Order: Apocalyptic Loss and "The Walking Dead"

"The Walking Dead" demonstrates how stages of grief follow no universal order. Before we discover how new characters on "Fear the Walking Dead" respond to the zombie apocalyse, look back at how one of the original program's characters faced loss and bereavement. What do these reactions mean for ongoing survival in a complicated world? What might Kübler-Ross say?

When the Creativity Researcher Goes Back to Being Creative

By James C Kaufman on August 17, 2015 in And All That Jazz
For half of me, this is a dream come true. I’m revisiting my musical and reworking the script with my director Valeria and rewriting some songs with my composer Michael. The other half of me is feeling impostor syndrome for the first time since grad school – what the hell am I doing?