About Pam Rutledge

Pamela Rutledge, PhD, is a scholar-practitioner, integrating her expertise in media psychology with 20+ years as a media producer. A member of the faculty at Fielding Graduate University since 2008, Dr. Rutledge teaches in the areas of brand psychology, audience engagement and narrative meaning. Dr. Rutledge consults with entertainment companies, such as 20th Century Fox Films and Warner Bros., on data strategies and audience narratives. Dr. Rutledge has published both academic and popular work, including a text on positive psychology and psychological appeal for fans of the Twilight Saga and resilience in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She has also written book chapters on meaning-making and fandom, transmedia narrative engagement, and positive media psychology. She authors “Positively Media” for Psychology Today and is also a frequent expert source on media use and popular culture for media outlets such as The NY Times, The BBC World and ABC News. She holds a PhD and an MBA.

How Period Dramas Like “Bridgerton” Soothe and Inspire

2021-06-15T23:51:37+00:00

Escapism, a good character, and a happy ending can build optimism and esteem. KEY POINTS Human brains love symmetry and completion, so audiences are soothed by the predictable patterns of period drama stories. Connection to characters in period dramas lets viewers “try on” different identities and explore new ways of being. Period dramas explore archetypal themes which invite the audience consider core ideas, such as the desire to be seen and loved. We learned a lot of things during the stress and uncertainty of 2020, including that media can be a wonderful escape into another time and place. Period dramas [...]

How Period Dramas Like “Bridgerton” Soothe and Inspire2021-06-15T23:51:37+00:00

What is Positive Media Psychology?

2021-08-29T14:00:41+00:00

presenter PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology zoom webinar May 19, 2021 Positive Media Psychology applies the theories and research from positive psychology to media and technology. Whether I’m working with interactive media, entertainment experiences, marketing content, social media, mobile devices or the news, a positive media psychology paradigm shifts the perspective away from looking for what’s wrong toward how mediated experiences can make lives and society better. In this brief presentation, I will discuss how media and technology can contribute to positive emotions, such as happiness and empathy; what technologies are used to support optimal engagement and mindfulness [...]

What is Positive Media Psychology?2021-08-29T14:00:41+00:00

What is Positive Media Psychology?

2021-06-03T22:24:04+00:00

Harness the Power of Media for Good. Positive Media Psychology applies the theories and research from positive psychology to media and technology. Whether I’m working with interactive media, entertainment experiences, marketing content, social media, mobile devices or the news, a positive media psychology paradigm shifts the perspective away from looking for what’s wrong toward how mediated experiences can make lives and society better. In this brief presentation, I will discuss how media and technology can contribute to positive emotions, such as happiness and empathy; what technologies are used to support optimal engagement and mindfulness and how even [...]

What is Positive Media Psychology?2021-06-03T22:24:04+00:00

Clubhouse: What’s the Appeal of Social Audio Apps?

2021-04-30T18:38:41+00:00

After a year of Zoom, people are flocking to audio-only conversations. SUMMARY Clubhouse is a throwback audio-only app for drop-in discussions, serendipitous meetings, and eavesdropping without shame. Invitation- and IOS-only, exclusivity, celebrity, and FOMO fuel its appeal; voice transmits emotion without the distraction of video, creating a sense of intimacy. Popular with marketers and self-promoters, there is an emphasis on audience building, getting followers, and monetization. Topics range from useful and insightful to inspirational; however, there have been reports of abuse, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and racism, in spite of community standards. In the wake of [...]

Clubhouse: What’s the Appeal of Social Audio Apps?2021-04-30T18:38:41+00:00

Why Kids Love TikTok Challenges

2021-09-08T19:18:12+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology February 17, 2021 Fun, dumb, or dangerous? TikTok challenges offer connection and belonging. TikTok is the current app parents love to hate. A mobile app that allows users to create and share short videos, it was the most downloaded app of 2020. TikTok challenges continue to fill the news alongside reports of the big bucks that young TikTok stars are pulling down from endorsement deals—both of which terrify parents. As the name suggests, a TikTok challenge "challenges" the viewer to take some action and record it for sharing on TikTok. Challenges are found using hashtag searches [...]

Why Kids Love TikTok Challenges2021-09-08T19:18:12+00:00

Why Do We Like Holiday Movies?

2021-04-30T16:37:34+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology December 1, 2020 Holiday movies offer hope, joy, love, and the promise of a kinder world. Using entertainment for comfort, escape, and positivity can be an important antidote to COVID stress and Zoom fatigue. Holiday movies are a reliable and popular choice. Media companies have noticed, and some have upped their investment in holiday “feel good” movies. For example, according to the LA Times, Mar Visa entertainment has gone from investing about 10% of its development funds in holiday movies to about 50%. Why? Holiday movies make us happy. Psychologists talk about happiness by distinguishing between two types: hedonic [...]

Why Do We Like Holiday Movies?2021-04-30T16:37:34+00:00
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