by Tunisha Singleton, MA - Current PhD Student | Fielding Graduate University | Co-Chair - APA Div 46 Student Committee | Member - APA Div 46, 47 | http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tunisha-singleton/85/43a/a82
Fielding Graduate University made their presence felt at Digital Hollywood in Marina Del Rey, California. Digital Hollywood is a reputable conference in the convergence of entertainment and technology, bringing together the field’s top executives and developers. As a sponsor of the four-day summit, Fielding Graduate University’s Media Psychology program supportively added to the event by bringing fresh perspectives and specialists in cutting-edge fields.
Digital Hollywood is among the world’s best venues combining technology research and design. The setting became a perfect fit for media psychology’s scholar-practitioner model that aims to understand the psychological impact of media use and creation. Over 25 members of Fielding's media psychology community were present, including prospective and current students, alumni, and faculty.
Director of the Media Psychology PhD Program Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD, was in attendance and noted that the overall experience was beneficial for both parties. “Patterns in media and new technology emerged in many of the panel discussions,” said Dr. Hogg. “While industry experts work to figure out how to use content and make new platforms, researchers from our program can provide this type of information by explaining the psychology behind it. So it was very energizing to connect industry developers with researchers.”
Digital Hollywood is broken up into multiple tracks emphasizing a particular area within entertainment and technology. A few tracks, for example, include: “Immersive Entertainment: From Movie Theatres to Interactive Surfaces," “The Women’s Summit & Festival: Content, Discussion, & Recognition,” and “Virtual and Augmented Reality: From Sense of Presence to Full Embodiment.” Panels are designed to focus on a specific topic under each theme with speakers who have exceled in that particular field. And representatives from Media Psychology were not only in attendance, but were also called to lead as pioneering examples.
Director of the Media Psychology Masters and Certificate Program, Garry Hare, PhD, moderated a panel titled “AR – VR and the Human Brain: The Impact of Neuromarketing on the Real-Time Design of Immersive Entertainment and Advertising Productions.” Exploring the cognitive science behind the visualization of complex data offered opportunities to showcase the innovative work of Media Psychology graduates.
“Students and faculty experience first hand innovations in immersive media, augmented reality and the future of both mass market and targeted productions,” said Dr. Hare. “Presentations by faculty on media neuroscience and the creation of AR applications were extremely well received, opening the door for future featured panels, presentations, real-time research and collaborative product development.”
Leading the way on marketing neuroscience is Fielidng media psychology faculty member Christophe Morin, PhD, whose presentation was filled with stimulating and cutting-edge information that rang new to Digital Hollywood. As CEO of neuromarking agency SalesBrain, Dr. Morin believes that the psychology of neuromarketing is indispensable to the Digital Hollywood community. “The field of neuromarketing offers research methods that measure and predict the effect of media on our nervous system” said Dr. Morin. “I was pleased to see that content producers and marketers are very interested in the field of media neuroscience because our research can explain and predict the effect of advertising, games, and even movies on the brain.”
Interest in neuromarketing and other critical areas were expressed through the consistent flow of attention received at Fielding’s interactive information booth. Maintained over the course of the entire conference, faculty and alumni were able to showcase Fielding’s Media Psychology’s new certificate program with two new specialized concentrations - Media Neuroscience or Brand Psychology and Audience Engagement. Under each specialized focus, the three-course certificate allows industry professionals to gain an understanding of the "why" and "how" behind their work by applying psychological theory.
Fielding media psychology faculty member and Director of the Media Psychology Research Center Pamela Rutledge, PhD, spent several hours interacting with Digital Hollywood’s advertising and creative professionals about the new emphasis of Brand Psychology. “This certificate is designed to help you connect with the consumer and take advantage of the socially-connected, 24/7 world we live in,” said Dr. Rutledge. “Entertainment and technology is not just about the tools...it’s about human behavior. Media environments change. New technologies emerge. But human needs and goals do not. So here you’ll learn to apply psychology to develop and deliver a brand identity and core story that captures your audience’s wants.”
For the Fielding to sponsor Digital Hollywood, several positive outcomes can arise including careers for alumni, research projects for faculty and internships for current students. Third year media psychology doctorl student Matthew Price remarked on how significant it is for Fielding to be present at these events and how valuable it was to be in attendance, “Digital Hollywood was a terrific opportunity for me to network with industry luminaries and examine my place academically and professionally in a real world setting. I think this is one of the truest benefits of an education from Fielding; exposure to the industry and an opportunity to apply our education in a constructive environment."
The Fielding community received an overall enthusiastic reception from Digital Hollywood participants with high anticipation for returning to the next seasonal event. Taking advantage of the high profile opportunity provided by Digital Hollywood’s setting, faculty and alum showcased their unique approach to methodology, production research, and content creation. Doctoral, masters, and certificate programs alike - the Media Psychology program represented Fielding Graduate University well as a formidable leader in higher education, research, and applied innovation.