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"How Do Interactive Media Affect Us?"

S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications at Penn State University, to give Gerald P. Mohrmann Memorial Lecture.
"How Do Interactive  Media Affect Us?"

S. Shyam Sundar

May 13, 2016
from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

119 Wellman

We have entered an age of interactivity, where almost all the media we use are interactive. How do these interactive media affect our psychology? A long tradition of theory and research on “media effects” has shed light on how mass media affect us, but we know very little about how newer, interactive media do so. This talk will reveal the reasons why online interactivity is so alluring, and discuss various ways in which specific features of media technology shape our psychology. It will also articulate how to study interactive media in a theory-driven manner, by sharing research governed by original study models (Interactivity Effects Model, Agency Model of Customization, MAIN Model, Motivational Technology Model), and conclude with an outline of the new Theory of Interactive Media Effects (TIME). Experiments described in the talk will illustrate how different affordances of interactive media differentially engage users and consequently their perception of media content as well as higher-order outcomes, such as empowerment.

Speaker Biography  

Distinguished Professor Sundar is the founding director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in the College of Communications at Penn State University. He is editor of the first-ever "Handbook of the Psychology of Communication Technology" (Wiley, 2015) and serves as editor-in-chief of the "Journal of Computer Mediated Communication." A prolific scholar and frequently cited source on technology, Sundar has testified before the U.S. Congress as an expert witness. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Lockheed Martin, among others. He was elected chair of the Communication and Technology Division and vice president of the International Communication Association 2008-10.