Director, Media Psychology Research Center
Faculty, Fielding Graduate University

As a media psychologist, I study the impact and experience of media and technology. I am passionate about applying the principles of psychology for positive social change. Social change comes at all levels—individual, organizational and society-wide. Media technologies are powerful tools that can be designed for local or global influence. They can support individual growth, improve organizational effectiveness, develop brand image, influence elections and even initiate profound social transformation.

I have published both popular and academic work, including an essay on the importance of media psychology in the Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology, a chapter on the Psychology of Mobile Technologies in Global Mobile and the role of social media in the success of Twilight in The Psychology of Twilight. I am currently co-authoring the Science of Audience Engagement with Dr. Hogg and text and companion app Exploring Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Well-Being with Dr. Erik Gregory. As a consultant, I advise on a variety of media projects, such as KCET’s companion website for the children’s program Sid the Science Kid, the American Story Channel interactive children’s media and the Legends of Orkney literacy project. I also work with companies and brands to identify their value-based core stories.

At Fielding, I have developed courses in Media Psychology Foundations, Social Media Strategies, Brand Extension Using CSR, and Transmedia Storytelling and Branding. In addition to working independently with students on projects related to transmedia storytelling, brand meaning, and brand extension using corporate social responsibility programs, I currently teach Brand Psychology and Social Storytelling and co-teach Audience Engagement through Persona Development as part of the Certificate in Brand Psychology and Audience Engagement.

I am Director of the Media Psychology Research Center, an independent research lab studying the positive impact of media technologies. I also author one of the first media psychology blogs on Psychology Today.com called “Positively Media” and am Editor-in-Chief of the Media Psychology Review academic journal. In addition, I am pleased to be a frequent expert source and balancing positive voice for the international mass media, such as the NY Times, The UK Guardian, Seventeen Magazine, BBCToday, CAPRICHO, Korrespondent, Men’s Health, Parent’s Magazine, ABCnews.com and USAToday, on technology use, media literacy and social media issues

Media psychology is the perfect culmination of my career path. It allows me to draw on and synthesize my previous experience in visual design, brand and corporate identity development, business strategy and clinical psychology. My focus is using positive psychology and storytelling informed by emerging research in perception, cognition, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. These theories guide my thinking and create my framework for forecasting human behavior and social trends, no matter what the technology. My media psychology mantra is “It’s not about the tools!” Psychology is the key to anticipating trends. That gives us the ability to proactively adapt and identify potential, subvert problems and find opportunities that achieve personal, educational, business and social goals.



Director, Media Psychology Doctoral Program,
Fielding Graduate University
President, APA Division 46, Society for Media & Technology

I am am a media psychologist, the 2015 president for the American Psychological Associations’ Society for Media Psychology and Technology, and co-author of the soon to be released books, The Science of Audience Engagement and Mad Men Unzipped.

Passionate about social media, technology, and digital environments, I research and consult on how we communicate, connect, and find balance in changing environments. As a psychologist I applies theory, practice, and research to humanizing the technological landscape and digital experience.

I am a faculty member of Fielding Graduate University’s Media Psychology program and a senior research fellow at the Media Psychology Research Center, a research and consulting organization helping companies create positive and effective media, messaging, and technology. I frequently speak internationally on psychological components and influences of media and technology on human behavior. As a consultant I examine the cultural influence on human behavior and digital media, virtual communities and augmented reality, connection through social media communities, the psychology behind effective communication design, new and changing learning communities, and how to create solid user experience design.

I am always interested with how we connect, form relationships, communicate, and make meaning in digital environments. I enjoy extending the conversation through writing, speaking, teaching, and research. In general I am interested in our lived experiences and enjoy hearing the individual stories of how we engage.

I write for both academic and popular audiences grounding my writing in psychology, science, research, and story. I am currently co-authoring the Science of Audience Engagement with Dr. Rutledge and recently co-authored Mad Men Unzipped about Mad Men fans engagement and how they meaning of their lives through watching the show. I author a blog on Psychology Today.com called “The Digital Life” and regularly engage with reporters on current topics in media psychology and technology. Recent interviews include The Atlantic, US News and World Report, Self Magazine, Internet Magazine, and Cosmopolitan.

I regularly speak on audience engagement, augmented reality, media and technology issues with privacy and ethics, learning environments, media psychology and technology for good, and how we interface with technology.

I began my career studying engineering and then made the unusual jump to advertising and public relations. While it might not have made sense at the time it fueled my interest the science and technology behind how we are driven to connect and communicate. With experience in design and usability I discovered the newly emerging field of Media Psychology. I have been researching and teaching in Media Psychology and Technology ever since. My passion remains in how we connect and make meaning in digital environments (which is not also coming to mean through digital environments). I enjoy the dialogue with others on the topic and continue to uncover new areas for research and understanding.