- Research Communities
- Research Groups and Labs
- The Big-DIG Research Lab
- Environmental Communication Lab
- Flint Water Crisis Working Group
- M2E2: Mindless Media Exposure and Effects
- Media and Development Lab
- Media and Psychology in Everyday Life (MaPiEL) Lab
- Media and Risk Lab
- Mobile Communication Collective
- Political Communication and Behavior Lab
- Politics and Communication Lab
- Politics, Environment and Science Lab
- Queer Media Studies Working Group
- Research Strengths
- Faculty Fields of Study
- Marsh Center for the Study of Journalistic Performance
The Mindless Media: Exposure and Effects Lab studies the impact of our daily media use on our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behavior. Although we are interested in a wide range of unintended effects of the entertainment and social media, we tend to focus on three types of processes.
1. Understanding our Mindless Media Use
McQuail once defined media use as "a rest category of leisure time use". Much of our media use escapes our attention. How much TV do you usually watch? How often do you pull out your phone to check your social media? Often this is impulsive behavior we don't really think about. We want to understand the Who, What, and Why. From all angles: how do we study it (methodology), what is it (processes), who does it (audiences), etc.
2. Media and the Social Construction of Reality
Never been to Paris? You probably have an idea about what that city is like. Never been arrested? You probably think you know what that would entail. We study the effects of exposure to the media on how we perceive the world. When we focus on fiction effects, that involves a lot of cultivation research.
3. Behavioral Outcomes of Media use
We study what happens after all that media use. How does media use affect sleep? Does it change eating behaviors? Do parents and children interact differently because of the media? We study all kinds of behavioral aspects, but we are particularly good at sleep research. Our group welcomes crazy "out of the box" ideas, paired with rigorous empirical research.
Faculty Coordinator: Professor Jan Van den Bulck