Division 46 was founded in the 1980s to bring scholars, researchers, practitioners, and clinicians together to understand the implications of mediated communications and the increasing integration of media technologies across society.
The rapid change in the media landscape in the last 20 years highlights the importance of media psychology to understand the psychological impact of human interaction with media technologies across society and around the globe. This makes the field of media psychology an exciting and continually evolving field that touches every aspect of life, from business, entertainment and leisure to education and healthcare.
What is media psychology?
Media Psychology focuses on the psychology behind media and technology use and impact. Read more
about the evolving definition of Media Psychology (downloadable PDFs):
What does a media psychologist do?
Media psychologists can be communicators, researchers, mental health providers, consultants, educators or developers. Media psychology is applicable to a wide variety of industries and occupations that involve the use or development of mediated communications and information technologies.
Media psychology includes research and applications dealing with all forms of media technologies: traditional and mass media, such as radio, television, film, video, newsprint, magazines, music, and art as well as new and emerging technologies and applications, such as social media, mobile media, interface design, educational technologies, interactive media technologies, and augmented, virtual and blended environments.
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What does Division 46 do?
Our mission is to advance psychology in the practice and science of media communications and technology. The Society is a community of researchers, psychologists and other mental health providers, consultants, educators and communications professionals actively involved with all forms of traditional and evolving media and emerging technologies. The Society supports the study and dissemination of information related to the impact of the media on human behavior, as well as the development of media literacy essential to the public and professionals.
The Division's objectives are to:
- Support research that enhances the understanding of the impact of media technologies and the effectiveness of media and technology to transmit information and influence behavior
- Develop a community for the discussion and development of theoretical frameworks for the study and practice of media psychology
- Support the development and use of positive and prosocial media and technologies
- Support efforts to educate the public and professionals in media and technological literacy and digital citizenship
- Facilitate the interaction between psychology and media representatives to encourage a fair and accurate representation of the science and practice of psychology
- Encourage the effective and ethical uses of media to inform the public about the science and profession of psychology and the impact of media and technology on individuals and society
- Prepare psychologists to interpret psychological research to the lay public and to other professionals
- Enrich and encourage the teaching, training, and practice of media psychology
- Encourage adherence to APA ethical standards and guidelines in the use of media. The Division has liaisons with the APA Education, Practice, Science, and Public Interest Directorates.
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