Media Psychology

The research group “Media Psychology and Effects“ addresses the issues of media reception, media selection, and media effects in research and teaching. In the focus of interest are the selection of specific media outlets or content and their effects on emotions, judgment formation, knowledge, and behavior. These issues are approached from two perspectives: on the one hand from a persuasion research perspective and on the other hand from an emotion research perspective.

In the context of persuasion, we deal with the following questions: How do the media influence public opinion formation? To what extent do media messages reinforce, attenuate, or change people's attitudes? How do audience members cope with mediated persuasion? What are the behavioral results of the persuasive impact of media information (e.g., purchase or voting behavior)?

In the context of emotion research, we address the following questions: How does the audience perceive emotional media content? What is the effect of emotions on the processing of media messages? How do audience members regulate emotions in media consumption setting and how do they cope with emotionally stressing content? Are there inter-individual differences that predispose some recipients to react stronger to emotional media effects than others?

A particular focus is on the combination of both perspectives, e.g., when we investigate the impact of emotions on attitude formation in political campaigns. The persuasion and emotion perspective is applied in different research fields that we deal with: Political Communication Advertising Effects Research Entertainment Research Financial Communication Online and Mobile Communication Methods Research