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

Too Stressed to Commit? The Popularity of Half-Hour Shows

2020-08-04T17:21:54+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology August 4, 2020 You can manage your cognitive resources through program length. It used to be that sitcoms were 30 minutes and dramas were an hour (including commercial breaks).  However, there has been a trend toward shorter form 20-30 minute dramatic programming.  From a practical perspective, shorter programming allows for a greater breadth of consumption.  It’s pretty clear that the quantity of media choices has grown, but the number of hours in a day has stayed the same. Yet the avowed enthusiasm for programs that demand a shorter investment of time raises questions [...]

Too Stressed to Commit? The Popularity of Half-Hour Shows2020-08-04T17:21:54+00:00

COVID-19 forces us online; I think we should stay there

2020-07-21T10:06:21+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology JULY 21, 2020 What I Learned from the Virtual Media Psychology Symposium. An online symposium has the same benefits as online education, wider reach, easier access and better content. Now that Fielding Graduate University’s first Media Psychology Symposium is over, I have time to reflect on the experience.  The Symposium was held virtually over two days (July 16 & 17) on Zoom, rather than in Chicago in-person, due to COVID-19.  COVID or not, however, I think a virtual Media Psychology Symposium is really the way to go.  Not only is virtual connectivity thematically appropriate with [...]

COVID-19 forces us online; I think we should stay there2020-07-21T10:06:21+00:00

How Stories Spread Conflict: The Face Mask Story Wars

2020-06-24T17:11:14+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology JUNE 20, 2020 The voice of reason is entirely missing when stories activate fight or flight. Anything that is perceived as an attack on beliefs, identity or affiliation shuts down cognitive processes and makes collaboration difficult, if not impossible. Narratives reveal core values that have to be addressed for both groups for compromise to be achieved and conflict resolved. There is no “changing the other guy’s mind” when the fundamental worldview is so different. This is true in politics, business negotiations, consume behavior and interpersonal relationships. The solution: Deconstruct the competing narratives to [...]

How Stories Spread Conflict: The Face Mask Story Wars2020-06-24T17:11:14+00:00

The Brain is Hardwired to Doomscroll: Can You Stop It?

2020-06-10T13:25:40+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology JUNE 10, 2020 According to Miriam Webster, doomscrolling and doomsurfing are new terms that describe continuous scrolling or surfing through negative news, even when it is depressing, demoralizing, distressing, or painful. Many people have found themselves continuously reading bad news about COVID-19 or the protests and police violence without the ability to stop or step back. This problem is a result of how the human brain is wired.  Our brains instinctively pay attention to any potentially dangerous situation as part of the biological imperative of survival.  Our brains are designed to constantly scan the horizon for potential threats.  Since threats are more [...]

The Brain is Hardwired to Doomscroll: Can You Stop It?2020-06-10T13:25:40+00:00

Rethinking social distancing for mothers and hospitalized babies

2020-05-07T13:44:08+00:00

Joy Voyles Browne, PhD Adjunct faculty, Infant & Early Childhood Development April 16, 2020 During this tenuous time of needing to provide protection for both hospital staff and the larger community, many policies in hospitals have included restricting visitors from being with their hospitalized loved ones.  Policies include restrictions for “visiting” babies in intensive care.  Many ICUs are preventing all family members from being with their babies, some have changed their policies to allow one parent to be with their baby.  Regardless of current policies and protections, it is imperative that we change our thinking about how babies and mothers need [...]

Rethinking social distancing for mothers and hospitalized babies2020-05-07T13:44:08+00:00

The New FOMO: What is the Impact of Coronavirus News Overload?

2020-03-25T15:06:22+00:00

BY PAM RUTLEDGE, PHD Doctoral faculty, Media Psychology MARCH 25, 2020 Last week we were worried about the negative impact of cellphone overuse.  Now we’re worried about staying employed, entertained and connected.  It’s funny how a little pandemic shifts your opinion.  In trying to decide about the impact of media consumption, I pay attention to how people use devices and what content they consume, not the amount of time or the frequency.  Device use during a pandemic resets the boundaries between what we think of as ‘appropriate’‘ vs. ‘problematic.’  What someone last week might have considered ‘overuse’ or ‘lack of personal boundaries’ now [...]

The New FOMO: What is the Impact of Coronavirus News Overload?2020-03-25T15:06:22+00:00

5 Lessons Brands Can Learn From ‘Contagion’​

2020-03-20T13:56:08+00:00

By Pamela Rutledge, PhD ‘Contagion’ is now the second most-streamed movie behind Harry Potter.  Why watch a show that scares us when we have a pandemic in real life? Because thrillers and horror movies can increase feelings of safety and decrease fear. There are big takeaways in the popularity of ‘Contagion’ for brands and organizations about what people need and want in times of crisis and how they benefit both the consumers and them. This is a time when the spotlight is on how brands behave in response to a crisis. Spoiler Alert: The most important messages from ‘Contagion’ and our real-life pandemic are the importance of hope, grit [...]

5 Lessons Brands Can Learn From ‘Contagion’​2020-03-20T13:56:08+00:00

12 Things Parents Should Know When Talking To Kids About Coronavirus

2020-03-14T13:22:41+00:00

by Pam Rutledge, PhD MARCH 14, 2020 Trying to get answers makes us feel safer.  This isn’t just true of adults.  It’s true for kids, too.  That’s why it’s important to talk with kids during times of crisis and uncertainty.   While parents grapple with making sense of it all, kids aren’t immune to the stories.  Kids are dealing with their own social and academic uncertainties and highly tuned in to their own sources and worries.  Kids hear a lot of what adults hear but it’s filtered and translated by young brains and shared around the playground or in the chat in Minecraft.  This means kids are easy [...]

12 Things Parents Should Know When Talking To Kids About Coronavirus2020-03-14T13:22:41+00:00
Go to Top