Fielding Graduate University

2020 De la Vina Street
Santa Barbara, California 93105
Admissions: 805-898-4026

Washington DC Offices
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20003

Media Psychology Programs

Fielding’s Media Psychology programs enable students to enter at their qualification, readiness and goal levels. The PhD in Media Psychology program provides a research-based program that informs practice in an evolving field of study. The Masters of Arts in Media Psychology is 100% online, applies psychological science to media and technology landscapes. The 3-course Certificate in Media Psychology program is also 100% online, and offers emphases in Media Neuroscience and Brand Psychology & Audience Engagement.

Learn More: Media Psychology

Author: Pam Rutledge

Virtual Media Psychology Symposium / Articles posted by Pam Rutledge

According to Miriam Webster, doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms that describe continuous scrolling or surfing through negative news, even when it is depressing, demoralizing, distressing, or painful. Many people have found themselves continuously reading bad news about COVID-19 or the protests and police violence without the ability to stop or step back. This problem is a result of how the human brain is wired.  Our brains instinctively pay attention to any potentially dangerous situation as part of the biological imperative of survival.  Our brains are designed to constantly scan the horizon for potential threats.  Since threats are more important to our survival than other information, we pay more attention to the negative things than the positive. Anxiety and stress are the byproducts of uncertainty about the safety of the environment.  Uncertainty...

Last week we were worried about the negative impact of cellphone overuse.  Now we’re worried about staying employed, entertained and connected.  It’s funny how a little pandemic shifts your opinion.  In trying to decide about the impact of media consumption, I pay attention to how people use devices and what content they consume, not the amount of time or the frequency.  Device use during a pandemic resets the boundaries between what we think of as ‘appropriate’‘ vs. ‘problematic.’  What someone last week might have considered ‘overuse’ or ‘lack of personal boundaries’ now seems important if not desirable.  The conditions have changed, but my basic premise hasn’t—it’s a question of quality, not quantity.  What you consume is much more important than the amount of...