Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Media and Psychology in Everyday Life (MaPiEL) Lab

Researchers in the Media And Psychology in Everyday Life (MAPiEL) Lab are interested in a broad range of questions about the relations between the mass media and individuals.
Led by Dr. Sonya Dal Cin, we investigate how the mass media affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors and how these in turn shape the experiences that people have with the mass media.
We study the experience of being sucked in by stories and identifying with characters, and the effects this has on important attitudes and behaviours. We examine the ways in which social identity and lived experience motivate our media use and influence our perceptions of entertainment content. Across it all, we prioritize the study of topics related to individual and societal wellbeing.


Current projects include:

  • Media use and wellbeing among older adults 
  • Pediatric patients' use of media to navigate their hospital stay
  • The role of realism in narrative persuasion
  • Understanding audience engagement with TV in the age of streaming (i.e., "binge watching")
  • Gamers' motivations for volunteering and charitable giving 

Getting Involved

If you are interested in pursuing graduate level work in the MAPiEL Lab, follow the normal application procedures for the Department of Communication and Media.

Undergraduate students are an important part of the lab! Undergraduates in any major may apply to work on our projects through the UROP program. Applications are accepted through the UROP office and applications are typically due in the summer before the academic term.

It is also possible to join the lab as a volunteer or to do a research experience course or thesis research (in either Communication and Media or Psychology). Students wishing to do a for-credit research placement or honors thesis must meet the eligibility and enrollment conditions set by either the Department of Communication and Media (for Communication and Media majors) or Department of Psychology (for Psychology majors). Junior and Senior undergraduate Communication and Media Majors at the U of M can conduct research through Comm 322: Faculty Directed Undergraduate Research Practicum, Comm 441: Independent Reading or Comm 442: Independent Research. Students may wish to apply for the honors program in Communication and Media; information can be found in the undergraduate program section of the department website. Psychology majors can conduct research though one of several courses in the Psychology department—speak to a Psychology department academic advisor for details. Psychology students wishing to join the lab should contact Dr. Dal Cin directly, and are typically expected to have some prior involvement with the lab (e.g., UROP, volunteering) before enrolling in a research practicum or thesis course with us.

Students interested in learning more about the lab and the work we do are always welcome to "sit in" at a meeting. Please contact Dr. Dal Cin or a graduate student lab member to make arrangements.

Contact Information

Email Address 


Graduate Students

Alexis McCarroll
Annie Zhang
Joseph Raney