By David Giles
Routledge – 2003 – 336 pages
Media Psychology examines the impact that 21st century media use has on human behavior, from teenage crushes on pop stars to soap fandom in adulthood. It brings together North American communication research with European media research in a variety of disciplines--psychology, sociology, communication and media studies--and in doing so, maps out the territory for media psychology. David Giles argues that psychologists have been guilty of ignoring the influence of the media over the last century, seeing it at best as a minor nuisance that will eventually go away. However, with the increasing prevalence of new electronic forms of mass communication, the media seem to have a greater influence than ever over our daily lives.
In this book, Dr. Giles tackles the traditional topics of media psychology--sex, violence, advertising--along with sections on developmental aspects of media influence and the psychology of the audience. He also examines a number of specific media genres--news, sports, soaps, and the increasingly popular audience participation media, such as "reality" and "lifestyle" television. In addition, he asks what light psychology can shed on the popularity of these genres and the response of their audiences. Finally, there are chapters on the increasing influence of the Internet and on the representation of psychology and psychologists themselves in the media.
"Giles's Volume does a good job summarizing much of the psychological research on the media. Further, the treatment is balanced….recommend Giles's Media Psychology to psychologists who are interested in the media because it provides a good treatment of the psychological study of the media."
"This book is a model of its kind - thought provoking, thorough and authoritative, with a mass of research surveyed by the author and set out in a comprehensive 26 page reference/bibliography section, along with author and subject indexes."
—Media Education Journal
Contents: Preface. Part I: Media Psychology in Context. What Is Media Psychology, and Why Do We Need It? Theoretical Issues in Media Research. Research Methods in Media Psychology. Part II: Psychological Effects and Influences of Media. The Effects of Media Violence. Prosocial Effects of Media. Pornography and Erotica. Advertising. Part III: Developmental Issues in Media Psychology. Young Children and Television. Media and Adolescence. Part IV: The Social Psychology of the Media. Representations of Social Groups. The Psychology of the Media Audience. Part V: Genres. News and Current Affairs. Sport. Audience Participation and Reality TV. Soaps. Part VI: The Future of Media Psychology. The Internet. Psychology in the Media.