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

Parents and Digital Technology

Stop lecturing your kids on the dangers of screen time. Lead by example: Fix your own habits first.

Can Celebrity Suicides Lead to Copycat Deaths?

New research explores the cognitive roots of suicide contagion.

What Happened to the Biggest Losers Won't Happen to You

Worried about the Biggest Losers and their regained weight? Don't be; competitive weight loss probably has nothing to do with you.

What Can We Learn From Watching a Superhero Civil War?

The new film "Captain America: Civil War" is getting rave reviews, but did you know there are very interesting ethical issues lying just beneath the surface of the original comics?

No Stigma, No Shame: Breaking the Silence of Mental Illness

The stigma and shame of mental illness is compounded by the lack of access to mental health care. May is Mental Health Awareness Month - a time to talk about mental health.

Facebook Free: Aftermath

Are there benefits from taking a break from social media?

Hamilton: Making History

The beauty of "Hamilton," in its casting and musical styles, is that it manifests—and makes real—the inclusive potential that was there in the early moments of the United States.

3 Reasons Why America Is Starting to Lose God

Both personal religiousness and spirituality are showing signs of decline in the United States. Here’s why.

Killing the American Hero, Killing the Fair Trial

When defense claims "not criminally responsible," courts must adopt a holistic view of insanity.

Why I Didn’t Want Prince’s Death to Be Suicide

Whenever a public figure dies by suicide—truly, whenever anyone dies by suicide—the first question is “Why?” And that’s the least important question to answer.

Are 'Deadpool' & 'Daredevil' Dangers to Kids?

'Daredevil' and 'Deadpool' have been touted as superhero stories for grown-ups. These entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be good, but they aren't good for kids.

Why Donald Trump Inspires the Confidence of His Supporters

Trump supporters don’t care how insensitive, obnoxious, or inaccurate Trump is, because honesty and sensitivity are not major criteria for judging their reality TV star.

The Internet Suicide Minefield

What makes some young people vulnerable to pro-suicide messages online? A new research study provides answers.

Why Do So Many Superstars Self-Destruct Like Supernovas?

Why has superstardom caused so many musical icons of the 1980s to die prematurely? This blog post explores the underbelly of fame and the quest for "Holy Grail" peak experiences.

Who Can Win the Game of Thrones?

PBS BrainCraft segment looks at psychological issues in HBO's Game of Thrones, particularly the role that self-control might play in determining which character can "win" the game.

Are Men and Women Portrayed Differently in TV Ads

Does television mirror or mould attitudes to gender differences? Why are males portrayed more often as professional authorities and women as naïve consumers all around the world

Doctor Who Therapy: Can TV's Time Lord Teach Compassion?

Superhero Therapy author describes an empirical study testing whether Doctor Who could teach children learn about compassion or help them with depression and socializing.

The Whole Foods Cake Case: Why Do People Fake Victimhood?

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 Friendship 2.0
What would motivate a person to create a hoax and claim victimhood, like what's assumed in the Whole Foods cake case? Several factors are likely at play.

Personality Traits of Grammar and Spelling Sticklers

New research suggests that introverted people tend to judge others negatively based on grammar and spelling errors.

Bones, Blood and Bodies

Podcasts from experts in forensic science and law enforcement assist crime writers to learn details of the disciplines.

David Webb on Activist Websites and Social Media

The future of mental health interview series continues with David Webb on activist websites and social media.

"I Can't Give You a Brain, But I Can Give You a Diploma"

Some projects — like acquiring a genuine education — are not best if you DIY. Sometimes you need a professional. Sometimes you need a professor.

How Not to Respond to Campus Suicides

By calling a young woman's death an accident, Penn missed an important learning opportunity.

What Screen Time Really Does to Kids' Brains

A number of troubling studies connect delayed cognitive development in kids with extended exposure to electronic media

When It Comes to Weddings, Does Cost Really Matter?

Many believe that the more expensive a wedding, the better the marriage. But Hollywood suggests the opposite may be true. What is the truth about wedding cost and marital success?

Jackie Robinson Day And Diversity in Major League Baseball

It's important to reflect on the importance of honoring and celebrating Jackie Robinson's efforts and career but also to pause and consider how far things have truly progressed.

Dawn of Justice Batman is the Worst Batman Ever

Batman at his best can serve as an inspirational figure. But not this Batman. This Batman is a gun-slinging killer. This is Batman at his worst.

Trillin v. Twitter: Have They Run Out of Ordnance Yet?

Calvin Trillin drew online ire for a satiric poem about Chinese food. What does this tell us about the psychology of anger, racism and social media?

Murder: The Prosecutor's Tale

Prosecutors of high-profile cases who then write books offer insightful details about how they formed their strategies.

Violent Video Games Can Trigger Emotional Desensitization

A new study has identified that playing violent video games repeatedly can desensitize players to emotional feelings of guilt.