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

Pam Rutledge, PhD

Pam Rutledge, PhD

Pam Rutledge, PhD

Doctoral Faculty in Media Psychology at Fielding Graduate University


Dr. Pamela Rutledge is a scholar-practitioner, integrating her expertise in media psychology with 20+ years as a media producer. She applies behavioral, social and neuroscience to understanding the impact of media content and technology design and anticipating audience behaviors. Rutledge focuses on identifying human motivations, behavioral triggers and instinctive drives to inform messaging and data strategies that deliver actionable insights.

In her capacity as a professional media psychologist, Dr. Rutledge consults with a variety of clients; data science team member at 20th Century Fox Films, persona development for the Oprah Winfrey Network, audience insights for Warner Bros., persona-based narrative strategies to disrupt terrorist messaging in social for the US Dept. of Defense, persuasive narratives to shift brand strategies for Saatchi and Saatchi, and the integration of human motivation into data strategies for Panoramic Data Visualization.

As faculty at Fielding Graduate University, Dr. Rutledge designs and teaches courses on brand narratives and transmedia storytelling, and audience engagement and segmentation through persona development. Her academic research focuses on the use of meaning making and narrative theory to understand the human and social experience and use of media and technology platforms. She has a particular interest in promoting the ethical use of media and technology design and content based on the tenets of positive psychology.

Dr. Rutledge speaks internationally and has published both academic and popular work on audience narratives, multi-platform engagement, the impact of mobile media, and qualitative research. She has contributed three chapters to the International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. She is also the author of: Transmedia Psychology – Creating Compelling and Immersive Experiences; The Psychology of Mobile Technologies; Augmented Reality – A Brain-Based Model for Interactive and Immersive Media; and Bridging Research and Practice: Using Proactive Narratives in a U.S. Department of Defense White Paper Assessing and Anticipating Threats to US Security Interests.

Dr. Rutledge acts as an expert witness in litigation related to audience and fan behaviors, is a blogger for and is also a frequent expert source on media use and popular culture for media outlets such as The NY Times, The BBC World, UK Guardian, ABC News, Time, and the Wall Street Journal.


Professional Development in a Virtual World: A Narrative Approach

Practitioner Heal Thy Self(ie); APA (Div. 46) Recommended Guidelines For Professional Online Engagement

Moderator: Thursday Conversation Hour: Social Justice, Media, and the New Normal

Friday Conversation Hour: Society, Technology & COVID-19: Short Term Solution or Long-Lasting Impact?