In this course we will use a psychological approach to examine some of the pressing issues associated with our massive consumption of entertainment. For example, we will look at the way social media has (or hasn't) impacted our relationships and how and why reality television manages to keep drawing such large audiences. We'll consider the appeal and impact of fear and violence in media. We will revisit Aristotle's driving questions of how entertainment elicits such strong emotional reactions and why we would seek out these experiences. We'll examine the role of race and racial targeting in Hollywood. And we will explore the increasing concern about media addiction, especially in light of new media technologies that are emerging.
We will also consider the business applications of the above psychological research. The entertainment industry is increasingly interested in media psychology given the many ways that an understanding of the psychology of media audiences could influence profitability. To that end, we will use psychological theories and evidence to answer many pressing questions that media executives face today. For example, what original programming should Netflix pick up for the 2020 season? How should a new video game be marketed? How will users react to proposed Instagram changes? How should an upcoming movie be cast? Throughout the course students will assume the role of media consultant and make recommendations in precisely the same way that many in the industry do on a regular basis.
Catalog Information: COLL-S 104 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN S & H