Research

My professional experiences in television broadcasting and the promotion and production of entertainment and news programming at Hearst Argyle Television, Inc./WLWT-TV, ABC’s The View, 6ABC/WPVI-TV, UPN38/WSBK-TV, and Michigan Radio inspired me to pursue a career in studying the effects of media on audiences.

The Media Effects Research Group (merg) at Penn State University (2005), organized by Dr. Mary Beth Oliver and Dr. S. Shyam Sundar
The Media Effects Research Group (merg) at Penn State University (2005), organized by Dr. Mary Beth Oliver and Dr. S. Shyam Sundar

Specifically, my research interests in media psychology guide my investigations into the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral processes underlying media effects particularly in the contexts of entertainment and new media. To understand how individuals are impacted by media messages and technologies, I employ quantitative methods primarily experiments and surveys. My scholarship consists of studies that center on the role of morality in media, factors underlying narrative engagement, parasocial interactions, positive media, and immersive and emerging media.

Recently, I have merged my interests in entertainment and new media to examine how media messages and immersive technologies have the potential to motivate people to do social good and facilitate empathic responses in users. As a mother of four young kids, I have also developed a keen interest in investigating how media can be leveraged to promote prosocial behaviors.