Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Media Psychology

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit addresses a range of questions about the ways in which audiences make sense of the media. The study-unit assists participants become critical users of internet enabled technology as well as traditional media. Topics include screen time and internet dependence, political campaigning, social marketing and cyberbullying.

Discussions will refer to the Maltese media landscape.

Study Unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to assist participants to develop an understanding of the psychological effects of mass media and information technologies on children and adults.

At the end of the study-unit, students will be able to:

- Identify the ways through which media operate;
- Become aware of how media and internet enabled technology influence attitudes;
- Become aware how attitudes formed with the help of media influence behaviour.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Describe different types of psychological, attitudinal, and behavioural effects produced by exposure to different media;
- Describe the possible roles of the mass media in shaping social perceptions, agendas, knowledge and attitudes;
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theories of mass communication and psychological theories related to attitude change.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Compare the psychological effects of traditional media and new media technologies;
- Analyse how mass media communications shape social perceptions, agendas, attitudes, knowledge and behaviours.

Required Text:

- Harris, R.J. & Sanborn, F.W. (2014). A cognitive psychology of mass communication. (6thed) New York, NJ: Routledge.
- Borg, J. & Lauri, M.A. (2019). Navigating the Maltese Media Landscape. Kite.

Reading list

- Wallace, P. (1999) The Psychology of the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Fuchs, C. (2017). Social Media. A critical Introduction. Sage.
- Giles, D. (2010). Psychology of the Media. Palgrave MacMillan.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite study-unit: PSY1606


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM2 No 40%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 60%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.