Intersections of Media Effects Research: Developing Socially Responsible Media Production

by Danya Braunstein


This podcast is of a seminar presented by Danya Braunstein at Macquarie University for SSSN on 20th March 2018. Danya’s paper is followed by a question and answer session facilitated by Chanelle Tarabay and involving the audience present on the day.

DANYA BRAUNSTEIN is a Registered Psychologist (Assoc. MAPS), Researcher, and Media Consultant. In private practice, Danya provides psychological counselling, coaching, and assessments for adults and adolescents. She holds a Master’s degree in Media Psychology, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Psychology. Danya’s doctoral research explores the influence of the cultural and social environment on narrative identity.

Extensive research has demonstrated that exposure to media narratives can affect the individuals who view them by altering thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Over time these media effects become reinforced and strengthened, consistent with cultivation theories (Potter, 2012). Examples of this research evidence include:

  • Wishful identification with fictional characters influences individuals to become more similar to the idealised characters (Markus & Nurius, 1986; Hoffner, 2011; McAdams, 2013).
  • Representations of media characters and their behaviours are significant influences for young people, often as a consequence of negative portrayals of race, class, sexuality, and gender (Greenberg & Mastro, 2011; Hust & Brown, 2011; Scharrer, 2013).
  • Individuals idiosyncratically adopt, negotiate, or reject the social norms, scripts and schemas, goals, and values communicated through media narratives (Thwaites, Davis, & Mules, 2002).
  • Individuals are entertained by and experience transportation into media narratives, which contributes to narrative persuasion (Green & Dill, 2013).
  • Media producers can embed positive social and health messages within their narratives to educate about important issues, to encourage favourable attitudes, and to change behaviours (Nabi & Moyer-Gusè, 2013).

In this presentation, I discuss how socially responsible media producers can utilise and apply this academic research in their work. Short video clips will be shown to demonstrate the concepts.

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