Fielding Graduate University News

Review of The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology in CHOICE Magazine, August 2013

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Aug 20, 2013

Oxford Handbook Media PSYAs cited on Oxford University Press:

It is indisputable that media is by far the most common means by which human beings spend our free time in the modern world.

However, the ubiquity of media in our lives brings with it advantages and disadvantages along with uncertainty: will increased dependence on media impair our social functioning, enhance it, or both? The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology explores facets of human behavior, thoughts, and feelings experienced in the context of media use and creation. Divided into six sections, chapters in this volume trace the history of media psychology; address content areas for media research, including children’s media use, media violence and desensitization, sexual content, video game violence, and portrayals of race and gender; and cover psychological and physical effects of media such as serious games, games for health, technology addictions, and video games and attention. A section on meta-issues in media psychology brings together transportation theory, media psychophysiology, social influence in virtual worlds, and learning through persuasion. Other topics include the politics of media psychology, a lively debate about the future of media psychology methods, and the challenges and opportunities present in this interdisciplinary field.

Authored by top experts from psychology, communications, and related fields, this handbook presents a vibrant map of the field of media psychology.

The Handbook was edited by Fielding Graduate University faculty member Karen Dill, PhD.  Several Fielding faculty members authored chapters for the Handbook, including: Jean-Pierre Isbouts, DLitt, Jason Ohler, PhD, Regina Tuma,PhD, Don Polkinghorne, PhD, Janet de Merode, PhD, and  Pamela Rutledge, PhDFielding media psychology alumni, Ellen Derwin and Janet DeMerode, wrote chapters, as did student Michael Neal.

The following review appeared in the August 2013 issue of CHOICE magazine:

The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, edited by Karen E. Dill. Oxford, 2013:

This volume collects with precision essays from leading scholars on media psychology to present a comprehensive look at the foundations, history, methodology, and contemporary issues facing the field.  Dill's introduction to the volume uses historic and current media issues to provide a set of coordinates for the book, and the chapters on the foundation and definition of the field should be required reading for all media scholars. The book comprehensively covers classic areas of describe the imagestudy for media scholars, including violence and sexuality, ethnic portrayals, and persuasion. It presents quantitative and qualitative perspectives on these topics; the last five chapters discuss larger meta-issues that get little attention in journal publications.  The one reservation arises in chapter 9 due to the authors' snarky comment that "intelligent people still doubt the effects" of media violence on aggression.  Such writing presents a straw man argument that slights those who do not see the media violence debate as closed.  This is a masterful volume that frames the field of study well.  It will be a prominent volume in the "Oxford Library of Psychology" series, highlighting the topic's increased importance within the social sciences.  Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division  undergraduate, graduate, and research collections. -- N  D. Bowman, West Virginia University

"Choice," 50, no. 11 (August 2013): 96.

Tags: Media psychology, psychology, higher education, fielding graduate university, graduate education