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Media Use

Learn the signs of digital consumer manipulation and be a smarter online shopper

It’s not always obvious when our cognitive biases are being manipulated by digital marketers and neuromarketing experts. Retail websites use a variety of psychological tactics to persuade consumers to buy their products. Occasionally these tactics stray into manipulative territory, for example when websites use dark patterns, greenwashing, and price discrimination. …

Screen time to green time: New study informs healthy screen habits as kids go back to school

A new study finds that fewer than two hours of daily screen time can adversely affect a kid’s life satisfaction.   Physical activity is crucial to wellbeing, and sedentary screen time interferes with exercise hours. Screen time guidelines can become more nuanced as children return to in-person learning.  Experts recommend separating…

How to survive a viral punishment: Cancel culture stories of social sanctions and online shaming

Community values are reflected in our norms about social sanctions and third party punishments (TPPs).  Our online interactions with celebrities reveal shifts in a society’s moral codes.  “Cancel culture” can indicate a time-honored practice of regulating social behavior or pure trolling. Gossip, concept creep, and identity can also feed into…

Why do people like true crime before bedtime? Murder media as a psychological coping strategy

True crime documentaries, true crime podcasts, and other forms of murder media continue to be a growing obsession in the United States and beyond — especially among women. Murder media can have positive psychological effects on its mostly female audience, whether they’re motivated by hedonistic (pleasure-seeking) or eudaimonic (meaning-seeking) reasons….

Internet Addiction: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More

Binge-watching Netflix; getting sucked into a YouTube channel about cats or cars; scrolling through Instagram and Facebook; shopping online; engaging in a heated discussion on Reddit; playing Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Fortnite; reading the news; taking personality quizzes; gambling; googling your symptoms; swiping left and right on dating apps. What…

Do violent video games really cause aggressive behavior? Despite popular belief, research says gaming does not influence behavior change

The common belief is that video games cause aggression in real life—but research shows this isn’t the case. Cultivation theory summarizes this belief; however, a University of York study shows that violent video games doesn’t influence players to behave any certain way. That said, of course gaming can still have…

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