Media psychology studies the effects of telecommunications, politics, advertising, and entertainment on society and individuals. Drawing from cognitive and developmental psychology, media psychology also incorporates systems and learning theories. By studying methods of mitigating the negative effects of media, these psychologists can develop programs that improve literacy, reduce anxiety, and otherwise benefit members of society.
Why a Master's Degree?
Students seeking a master’s degree in media psychology should expect to spend two years in their given program. The best media psychology degree programs will include a number of traditional psychology courses, as well as at least one class in research methods. Critical classes that study storytelling, social media, and advertising are frequently offered, as well.
Inside a Media Psychology Master's Degree Program
At the master’s level, most course work will be in the major field; however, since media psychology incorporates other disciplines, students can expect to take classes in advertising and marketing, as well. Required psychology courses may include cognitive behavior theory and neuropsychological development. Given its prominent use in media, research methods that incorporate surveys and focus groups are almost universally taught.
Outside of psychology, students can expect to take courses in narrative, propaganda, and persuasion. Other common courses include global media, neurological marketing, and emerging technology. Social and mobile media are also frequently studied. Most programs require completion of either a capstone project or a master’s thesis, prior to graduation.
What's Next for Media Psychology Master's Degree Holders?
Many graduates of media psychology programs take jobs in the marketing industry. According to the BLS, demand for market research analysts is expect to grow by leaps and bounds through 2024; these professionals earn a median annual salary in excess of $60,000 as of 2014. Others, who choose to take positions in public relations, can also expect an annual median salary in $55,000; this field is also expected to grow through 2024.
Those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. will find an excellent return on the investment. Doctorate holders can take teaching and research positions at colleges and universities, earning a median wage just over $70,000 annually, or work directly as psychologists, earning a median wage of $70,700. Those who take their Ph.D. to industry are frequently sought after to work in supervisory roles as advertising and marketing managers; these professionals can expect to earn median salaries in excess of $120,000.