A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication
Routledge – 2014 – 544 pages
A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication is the go-to text for any course that adopts a cognitive and psychological approach to the study of mass communication. In its sixth edition, it continues its examination of how our experiences with media affect the way we acquire knowledge about the world, and how this knowledge influences our attitudes and behavior. Using theories from psychology and communication along with reviews of the most up-to-date research, this text covers a diversity of media and media issues ranging from commonly discussed topics, such as politics, sex, and violence, to lesser-studied topics, such as sports, music, emotion, and prosocial media.
This sixth edition offers chapter outlines and recommended readings lists to further assist readability and accessibility of concepts, and a new companion website that includes recommended readings, even more real-world examples and activities, PowerPoint presentations, sample syllabi, and an instructor guide.
'This title represents one of the most accessible and comprehensive looks at the subject. Offering a diverse, current snapshot of several areas of mass communication, Harris and Sanborn cite studies from several continents and highlight past and contemporary work to cover classic approaches to mass communication, such as the requisite discussion of sexual media, media violence, and the role of news media in contemporary society. In addition, the authors demonstrate great acumen with more contemporary approaches to media research, such as discussions of media's role in sparking insight (eudaimonia) as well as pleasure (hedonism). A closer read of the book at times reveals the author's own notes and fears about media and society (including subtle references to gun-control laws and childhood obesity, among others), but these points are made not as pontifications but rather as contextualized provocations. That is, they are efforts to push the reader beyond the litany of citations so that they can understand the implications of research rather than the findings in isolation. A must-read for anyone with professional or even passing interest in the psychological impact of mass communication; the margins of this reviewer's copy are already full of lecture and research notes. Summing Up: Highly recommended.' N.D. Bowman, CHOICE
1. Mass Communication in Our Wired Society: The Changing Media Landscape
2. Research and Theory in Mass Communication: How Are Media Studied Scientifically
3. The Psychology of Media Use: Tapping into Our Deepest Selves
4. Media Portrayals of Groups: Distorted Social Mirrors
5. Advertising: Baiting, Catching, and Reeling Us In
6. Sports, Music, and Religion: Emotion to the Forefront
7. News: Setting an Agenda About the World
8. Politics: Using News and Advertising to Win Elections
9. Violence: Watching All That Mayhem Really Matters
10. Sex: Is Tuning In Turning Us On?: Sexuality through a Media Lens
11. Socially Positive Media: Teaching Good Things to Children (and the Rest of Us)
12. Responding to Media: Getting Our Two Cents In
Richard Jackson Harris is Professor of Psychology at Kansas State University in Manhattan KS, where he has taught since 1974.
Fred W. Sanborn is Associate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina Wesleyan College, where he teaches a wide range of psychology courses. He is also the founding director of the NCWC's Teaching and Learning Center.