The concentration teaches cutting edge techniques backed by theory and science of positive psychology.  This unique combination positions graduates to be leaders in the field of media psychology applied to messaging and communications for social change.  It enables graduates to expand their career potentials through the application of positive psychology across industries and applications, such as in marketing, public relations, media and technology development, game design, social media management, education, organizational communications, public service messaging, nonprofit fundraising, political campaigns, or social advocacy projects.

Why Positive Psychology and Media?

These skills are applicable to any career where the goal is the promotion of positive values or positive change.  Our students have pursued interests in educational technology development, online course development, behavior change technology (healthcare and lifestyle apps), empowerment-based marketing and public relations, public service messaging, corporate social responsibility programs, media literacy, social advocacy projects, education-entertainment strategies, and game design and applied gamification for social change.

Required Courses:

  • PSY-777 Positive Psychology in Media 4 semester credits
    • This course examines the major tenets of positive psychology and how they are can be applied to media and beyond.  Among the topics to be covered are: The deconstruction of happiness and how distinguishing between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness impacts the conceptualization of media use and enjoyment.; the role of empathy and altruism in Internet behaviors; how the role of attachment and affiliation manifest in social media; the neuroscience of positive emotions; the role of social and mobile technologies in individual and collective agency; the positive power of storytelling in making social change and designing games and transmedia narratives for flow.
  • PSY-685 Research Practicum in Positive Psychology & Media: Media Psychology 0.5-4 semester credits
    • This would be designed to focus research on a specific research or dissertation question consistent with the concentration. This may be taken concurrent with the Media Qualifying Exam (QE) or in the first term of dissertation research.

Choose one from:

  • PSY-766 Special Topics in Media Psychology 4 semester credits
    • This would include an approved project or paper where the student, individually or as a group, examines a particular area of interest in depth. Requires a contract with faculty.
  • MSC-552 Global Psychology: Social Marketing in a Borderless World 4 semester credits
  • This course has a global perspective to explore ways in which global broadcast and narrowcast media make an impact in society, and how these media are harnessed to actively promote the advancement of social concerns. We assess the use and misuse of traditional media (radio and television), the classical entertainment media (film, theatre, art and music) and the “new” media (internet, social networks, blogs, virtual worlds, and cell phone technologies) in reaching their desired audiences and convincing them of anything.


  • A dissertation focused on positive psychology and media is required.