Join The Society for Media Psychology&Technology

Media Psychology Division 46 of the American Psychological Association

Posted Oct 09, 2012

Luskin's Learning Psychology Series - No. 34

Join the APA

This article explains the APA Society for Media Psychology and Technology and gives you an overview of media psychology refined from many years in this field. Following are ten important objectives that support the committment of the society to:

1.  Improve communication for a wider audience about the increasing importance of media psychology,

2.  Assure that everyone understands that media psychology includes technology within its scope and mission,

3.  Attract and encourage new membership based on increasing professional and public understanding of the society’s mission,

4.  Work together with the membership to enhance, brand and position the field of media psychology,

5.  Acknowledge that media psychology and technology cut across APA divisions, recognizing that the work of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology is central to the fields of education, entertainment, telehealth, telecommunications and commerce, including marketing, advertising, the military, public policy and government,

6.  Analyze and share findings, conclusions and possibilities in the study of media effects,

7.  Apply new knowledge in practice, teaching and research,

8.  Encourage worldwide growth in media psychology courses, degrees and certificate programs,

9.  Represent the specialty of media psychology in cooperating with other associations and fields, and

10.  Provide a worldwide forum for media psychology serving a professional community of interest and practice.

Society members include researchers, practitioners, mental health providers, consultants, educators, military personnel and communications professionals providing services to all forms of TV, print, cinema, mobile and micro media, social media, telecommunications, telehealth, and teletherapy. The Society advocates the study of theories in psychology applied to media and the wide dissemination of media psychology effects on human behavior.

Education is a priority.

Creative media applications in learning are rapidly expanding. Focus on MOOCS, online and blended learning, augmented reality, artificial intelligence; robotics in commerce, education, public policy, telehealth, and military applications from inner to outer space are increasing. Twenty-first century educational institutions need more sophisticated faculty and staff who understand higher concepts in media arts and sciences. Individuals must now grasp the implications of media to perform competitively in the majority of new and emerging occupational specialties.

Theories in psychology are fundamental.

Media psychology includes the understanding of the physical and emotional aspects of the brain. Range of emotion, expression, persuasion, sexuality and gender are among the areas of continuing study within media psychology. Also included are theories of attention, persuasion, emotional control, believability, situational cognition, assessment, learning, mind mapping, persistence, reinforcement, mastery, success and failure. “Pscybermedia,” is a neologism combining psychology (human behavior), artificial intelligence (cybernetics) and media (pictures, graphics and sound).

Applying the art and science of media psychology has become essential to effective teaching. Media psychologists study and report the effects of research on sensory and cognitive processes that impact cultural attitudes and values.


Effects studies show the way.

Effects research examines how the various news and entertainment media affect, and are affected by, audiences, their demographics and numbers. Examples of media influences include the formation, maintenance and/or change of individual and group stereotypes. On-camera and off-camera diversity representation, the framing of media stories and news, advertising, public service messages, political messages and more, directly influence overt and nuanced human behavior.

Understanding applied media psychology is important for those who work with and within the public and private sectors. Specifically included are government, military, public and private health services and all areas of telecommunications, teletherapy and commerce. The pursuit of commercial opportunities and innovations in the delivery of online learning for traditional education institutions and corporate university populations are equally important areas.  Media psychologists are among the professionals who consult with producers of printed and electronic books, films, those who appear as guests or hosts on radio or television, and all who offer on-line services involving advice, counseling information, expert testimony in litigation and dispute resolution.

Scholar practitioners’ are us.

A scholar/practitioner approach is increasingly important for many career professionals. The scientist-clinical and applied practitioner is a natural disciple of the media psychology specialty.  Thucydides, author of The History of the Peloponnesian War written in 431 B.C.E., is reputed to have said it best:

“A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking being done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.”

Combining research, theory and practice maximizes new opportunities in health services, public service and public policy, publishing, education, entertainment and commerce for those with a solid foundational understanding of theories in psychology and their connection to human behavior.

The APA Society for Media Psychology and Technology will heighten awareness, open new career options and serve as a catalyst in providing a forum so that working together we can achieve a better world.

Society Website:   .


Luskin, Bernard Jay, (1970) An Identification and Examination of Obstacles to the Development of Computer Assisted Instruction, University Microfilm ID: 7199656, 288 pages

Luskin, B. J., & Friedland, L. (1998). Task force report: Media psychology and new technologies. Washington, DC: Division of Media Psychology, Division 46 of the American Psychological Association. Link:

Luskin, B.J. (2003, May/June) Media psychology: A field that’s time is here, The California Psychologist, May/June, 2003, reprinted, National Psychologist


Dr. Bernard Luskin is past President, of the Society for Media Psychology and Technology, the Media Psychology Division 46 of the American Psychological Association. In 2011, the Society recognized Bernie Luskin with its award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Media Psychology. He can be reached at:,


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