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Media Psychology Research Center
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Understanding How People Use and Make Media
Understanding How People Use and Make Media

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We may be anxious and depressed in this political environment, but the damage goes much deeper. The irrationality, and subsequent intolerance and antagonism, is most dangerous fallout of Trump's flamethrower approach. It creates a need for safety that overrides reason. Across social media people are no longer willing to tolerate differing opinions, and all of this triggers our instinctive defensive responses, causing anger and suppresses our rational, cognitive ones and our ability to have empathy.

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"We tend to be much harder on ourselves than others are on us," she said. "Whereas others take in an image holistically, noticing expressions of emotion and mood such as a smile, we are scrutinizing the minor details."

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In the book Exploring Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Well-Being, authors Erik Gregory and Pamela Rutledge elaborate on Tom’s neurological training. “[Tom] is a real-life example of intentional activities to take advantage of neuroplasticity to maintain cognitive health.

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This concept for AR bike helmets features front and rear cameras and a drop-down visor that can overlay live-streaming footage from a rear camera onto the rider's field of vision. This is just the beginning of ways that wearables can improve safety, provide high-quality performance feedback and inspire behavior change. Very exciting!

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The psychology of news consumption - there is value in being a mindful consumer. 

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VR taps into the psychological power of presence ("being there") and our brains react as if we were "really" there, experiencing events physically, emotionally and cognitively.  VR has tremendous potential for applications where the goal is to see the world through another's eyes.  The end result is not just empathy, but to break down barriers by emphasizing our shared humanity, not individual differences.

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Transmedia has always had a rocky definition. It may, however, be moving more from a definable thing to a perspective on how to approach communication--whether entertainment, marketing or education. To me, it has always represented a more accurate user-centered design that reflects how the human brain receives and gathers information and makes meaning of experience--through multiple channels. It's not surprising that the pioneers of transmedia experiences have moved to the edge of the storytelling envelope, such as VR. It is where the attention and money are focused given that the opportunities are unknown and thus, full of promise. As Andrea's article points out, transmedia strategies were not uniformly able to create a viable business model that supported many creative endeavors. At the same time, the fundamental shifts in the media landscape that impact consumer expectations and demands, not to mention the flood of choice, suggest that awareness of the need for multi-platform engagement only grows. To me, this suggests that the fundamentals are more important, even if they "only" provide a foundation for thinking about strategies and projects in the way Simon describes.

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Good "rules" but above all else, it has to have a good story. 

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We continue to look for easy answers for the appropriate age for smartphone use, but there aren't any.  Maturity develops at different rates in children and there is a wide range of uses for smartphones.  Achieving the intersection for your child takes judgment.  But smart technology use isn't about the tools--it's about the fundamentals like critical thinking, ethical judgment and moral behavior AND having an open channel of communication.  You can teach your kids these lessons without ever logging into SnapChat.  It does, however, require an investment in time to build an open relationship of trust based on talking and listening so that your messages are heard.  More importantly, it lets your kids feel safe enough to ask you (instead of some other less qualified person or friend) how to handle tough or confusing situations.

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It's important to remember that most studies are looking at media and new technology from the presumption that the way we used to do things is the right way.  That's been true of a lot of media research — and a lot of research in general — because we only know what we do.  Think back to the "demon radio."
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