Media psychology involves the scientific examination of the cognitive processes and behavior involved in the selection, use, interpretation, and effects of communication across a variety of media (e.g., via the Internet, television, telephone, film). Media are central to people's lives, with projections indicating that an average person spent over 3,515 hours using media in 2012. New technologies are increasing the importance of media. Data from two content analyses demonstrate the underrepresentation of media psychology in mainstream psychological literature and in undergraduate and graduate psychology course offerings. We argue for the importance of a psychological approach to the study of media because of its presence in people's lives and because psychologists use it in their research and their choices may affect the external validity of their findings. We provide a useful framework from which psychologists can approach the study of media, and we conclude with recommendations for further areas of scientific inquiry relevant to psychological science.
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