How Do You Become a Media Psychologist?

Media PsychologyIn order to become a media psychologist, students will have to selectively study both psychology and media technology courses. It is highly recommended that students major in psychology and minor in media studies for their bachelor’s degree.

What is Media Psychology?

Media psychology evaluates and explores the complex relationships and interactions between media and human attitudes and behaviors. Media psychologists study the effect of media on individuals, groups and society as a whole. For example, classic media psychology studies explored how violent television programs negatively affected young children’s behaviors and propensity towards aggressive behavior. Media psychology is a relatively young branch of psychology that unofficially started in the 1950’s, but was officially accepted by the American Psychological Association in the 1980’s when they created Division 46: the Society for Media Psychology and Technology.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology

The first step in becoming a media psychologist is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, students will study media psychology, but these programs aren’t very common. As a result, students who want to become a media psychologist generally get a bachelor’s degree in general, social or behavioral psychology and then go on to study media technology. These degrees will cover basic classes such as experiment design and research methods and measurements. Cognitive, biological and abnormal psychology will be studied. Students should take courses in media, communications and technology. They will learn about culture and media, audience perceptions and emerging media technologies. However, almost all practicing media psychologies obtain a master’s degree in media psychology.

Get a Master’s Degree in Media Psychology

A Master’s in Media Psychology degree will prepare graduates to use, create and evaluate media within business contexts. They will go on to work as independent consultants, public policy advisors and academic professors. A master’s degree will explore deeper and more abstract themes about the major issues facing the media and society. Graduates will gain a practical and theoretical understanding of how social media and the Internet is transforming society as well how to psychologically increase audience engagement. Graduates will study the advanced fields of neuro-marketing and consumer neuro-science, which analyzes the psychological impact of media on consumers. Graduates will also know how to engage audience’s across different media platforms through the art of trans-media storytelling.

Get a Full-Time Job

Most media psychologists find employment in media driven industries, such as TV, radio, movie and broadcasting companies. Some media psychologists work in the business world in corporate advertising and marketing departments. There is a small but steady demand for media psychologists in the academic world because colleges need them to create promotional and persuasive educational materials. Some media psychologists work with health care organizations to help them create interactive and informative media materials. Some media psychologists also work as researchers in non-profit and private research facilities.

Related Resource: Human Factors Psychology

Media psychologists are professionals who study the mutually interactive relationships between media and people. In order to become a media psychologist, students should obtain a bachelor’s and master’s degree and then find a job related to business or communications.