Cfp – Media psychology

Journal: Profesional de la información (Scopus Q1, WoS Q3)
Theme:  Media psychology
Issue: v. 31, n. 4
Publication date:  July-August 2022
Manuscript submission deadline:  January 10th, 2022

Guest editor:

Juan-José Igartua
Full professor, University of Salamanca, Spain


It has been 30 years since Reeves and Anderson (1991) posed the question “Wouldn’t you be happier in a psychology department?”, in their classic work “Media Studies and Psychology”. And almost 20 years have passed since Klimmt and Vorderer (2003) titled their work “Media Psychology is not yet there” in their article on the concept of presence in virtual reality research, taking as a reference media entertainment theory. However, in the last decades research on Media Psychology permeated decisively in Communication and Media research. First, its presence in academic journals has increased. In fact, there are two journals indexed in JCR-Web of Science that bear the expression “Media Psychology” in their title: Media psychology (founded in 1999) and Journal of media psychology: Theories, methods, and applications (heir to the German journal Zeitschrift für Medienpsychologie, and which has more than 20 years of history). The presence of research on Media Psychology has also been palpable in the publishing of books on the discipline (Del-Río, 1996; Dill, 2013a; Giles, 2003). In addition, the issues that are analyzed in this scientific field have been appearing since the late 1980s and early 1990s in textbooks devoted to the study of media effects (BryantOliver, 2009; BryantZillmann, 1986; BryantZillmann, 1994; BryantZillmann, 2002; NabiOliver, 2009; OliverRaneyBryant, 2020; Preiss et al., 2007) and reception processes with a quantitative methodological approach (BryantZillmann, 1991; VordererKlimmt, 2021). In addition, The international encyclopedia of media psychology (Van-Den-Bulk, 2020) was recently published, with more than 2,000 pages dedicated to presenting cutting-edge research on how and why interaction with media and technology influences human behavior.

Undoubtedly, the recent history of research in Communication is closely linked to research in Media Psychology. In the review carried out by Bryant and Miron (2004) it was revealed that the theories with the greatest presence in academic communication journals in the last 40 years (from 1956 to 2000) were linked to research in Media Psychology. And the recent work of WalterCody and Ball-Rokeach (2018) also observed the predominance of research anchored in the post-positivist paradigm and quantitative methods, among which the experiment stood out, which constitutes the main research technique in Media Psychology.

Research in Media Psychology expands in different thematic domains that include the study of 
-media entertainment,
-cognitive and affective processing of messages or media content,
-the impact of news,
-the use and impact of social media, mobile telephony, video games or virtual reality…
         …to name the most representative topics. This discipline analyzes the role of the media in people’s lives, that is, the interaction between human beings and content, messages and technologies. In short,
         “Media Psychology uses the lens of Psychology to study and understand the complex relations between humans and the evolving digital environment” (Dill, 2013b, p. 536).

In addition to the theoretical interest in understanding the processes and effects of content, media and technologies, Media Psychology is also an essential tool to improve the effectiveness of communication, since effective communication is only possible if a deep understanding about how people receive and process messages is developed. Therefore, research in this field is producing a decisive impact on Health Communication, Educational Media, Political Communication or Science Communication, to name some of the most representative contexts.

The goal of this special issue on Media Psychology is to bring recent empirical work on Media Psychology to the fore and provide a forum for reviewing Communication research developed from a psychological perspective. In this call for papers, empirical studies with international projection (written in English) that address central issues of Media Psychology and that focus on any of the following processes will be especially valued:
-priming and framing,
-cognitive and emotional processing (attention and affective processes),
-enjoyment, appreciation and eudaimonic entertainment,
-involvement with media characters, identity and the self,
-media effects and its link with the use, exposure and impact of media content and messages (traditional mass media, from radio or TV to fiction feature films) as well as
-emerging digital technologies (social media, videogames, virtual reality, mobile communication).


Bryant, JenningsMiron, Dorina (2004). “Theory and research in mass communication”. Journal of communication, v. 54, n. 4, pp. 662-704.

Bryant, JenningsOliver, Mary B. (eds.). (2009). Media effects. Advances in theory and research (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN: 978 0 805864502

Bryant, JenningsZillmann, Dolf (eds.) (1986). Perspectives on media effects. Hilladale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 978 0 898596410

Bryant, JenningsZillmann, Dolf (eds.) (1991). Responding to the screen: Reception and reaction processes. Hilladale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 978 0 805810448

Bryant, JenningsZillmann, Dolf (eds.) (1994). Media effects: Advances in theory and research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 978 0 805809183

Bryant, JenningsZillmann, Dolf (eds.) (2002). Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 978 0 805838640

Del-Río, Pablo (1996). Psicología de los medios de comunicación. Madrid: Síntesis. ISBN: 978 84 77383918

Dill, Karen E. (ed.) (2013a). The Oxford handbook of media psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978 0 195398809

Dill, Karen E. (2013b). “Media psychology: past, present and future”. In: Dill, Karen E. The Oxford handbook of media psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 535-544. ISBN: 978 0 195398809

Giles, David (2003). Media psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge. ISBN: 978 0 805840490

Klimmt, ChristophVorderer, Peter (2003). “Media psychology ‘is not yet there’: Introducing theories on media entertainment to the presence debate”. Presence, v. 12, n. 4, pp. 346-359.

Nabi, Robin L.Oliver, Mary B. (eds.)(2009). The Sage handbook of media processes and effects. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 978 1 412959964

Oliver, Mary B.Raney, Arthur A.Bryant, Jennings (2020). Media effects: Advances in theory and research (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN: 978 1 138590229

Preiss, Raymond W.Gayle, Barbara M.Burrell, NancyAllen, MikeBryant, Jennings (eds.) (2007). Mass media effects research: Advances through meta-analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN: 978 0 805849998

Reeves, ByronAnderson, Daniel R. (1991). “Media studies and psychology”. Communication research, v. 18, n. 5, pp. 597-600.

Van-Den-Bulk, Jan (ed.) (2020). The international encyclopedia of media psychology. New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978 1 119011064

Vorderer, PeterKlimmt, Christoph (eds.) (2021). The Oxford handbook of entertainment theory. New York, NY: New Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN: 978 0 190072216

Walter, NathanCody, Michael J.Ball-Rokeach, Sandra J. (2018). “The ebb and flow of communication research: Seven decades of publication trends and research priorities”. Journal of communication, v. 68, n. 2, pp. 424-440.

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