Media Psychology is a psychology subspecialty that addresses how people perceive and respond to media messages found in radio, television, film, video, newsprint, magazines and online. Career options include fields such as media consulting, advertising and media research.
The pro-business slant that much of media psychology entails makes it a very lucrative field for the interested professional. Helping to develop marketing campaigns based on the human behaviors associated with media messages is an increasingly popular use of the media psychology degree. If you’re interested in pursuing this field it helps to be in touch with the latest technologies and to understand how people use those technologies to make decisions.
What Does a Media Psychologist Do?
There are six key components to the field of media psychology you’ll need to understand before moving on to a career in the field: the human factor, media effects, how media and psychology interact, types of media, research and psychological content delivery itself. If you work as a media psychologist you will likely cover one or more—and sometimes all—of those components from day to day.
The nature of the work is both observational and interactional. It also requires the media psychologist to expand outside the field of psychology itself to understand the effects of human understanding and behavior in the present time and the world to come.
Careers in Media Psychology
This field will have far reaching effects as society continues to grow more advanced while adjusting to things like social networking and changes in nearly a century of coding regarding broadcast and print media. It will have an impact on journalism, business, law, education and virtually any other field that you can think of. Since this subspecialty is relatively new, it is a great time to explore it as a career opportunity.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is still struggling to come to terms with what they define as a media psychology specific job, but those working in the field cover a wide range of salaries. New media specialists could earn anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000 per year. If you choose a business focus, are an expert in the field, and enough of an entrepreneur to run your own consultancy business, then $100,000 or more is attainable.
Obtaining a Media Psychology Degree
Since the field requires no clinical psychology experience, beefing up your college resume with those types of classes will do little to prepare you. Study schedules are generally flexible, with institutes like Fielding Graduate University allowing a “you call the shots” type of plan.
While not all schools will manage their media psychology degree plans the same way, and not all schools even offer a doctorate degree in the field, you are best served to strive for the highest credential in the field. As technology continues to grow, so, too, will the requirements for professionals in this area.