Thursday, January 11, 2018

An Introduction to Media Psychology

What is media psychology? What do media psychologists do and how do they do it? What is the intention of the media psychologist as an individual, and media psychology as a discipline? These are the five questions that I would like to explore with you in this essay.

A good place to begin is by defining the words media and psychology. You have learned, no doubt, that the definition of psychology is “the scientific study of behavior and mental processes”. This definition of psychology is not the first, not the last, and not the only definition. In fact, this definition reflects the system of knowledge (called a paradigm) of one of the seven, contemporary systems of knowledge, or schools of thought of psychology; the cognitive paradigm. The cognitive revolution in psychology took place in the early 1960s against the prevailing behaviorist paradigm. From the early 1930s through the 1960s, introduction to psychology textbooks defined psychology as “the scientific study of behavior”. When computer scientists, linguists, and artificial intelligence researchers began treating the brain as a piece of computer hardware and the mind and thinking as software, the definition changed to include mental processes, which means cognition or thinking. It was said at this time that psychology had “regained consciousness,” after a forty-year period of classical and operant conditioning theories of behaviorism.