Reality Television: A Media Psychological Literature Review Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Reality Television: A Media Psychological Literature Review

Media Psychology

The research will examine and study aspects of reality television programming from a media psychological perspective and with media psychological methods. The following literature review serves as a context within which the reader and the research will consider the topics. The aim is to outline current and relevant knowledge of the affects of psychological affects of reality television program upon viewers/consumers. Through the literature review, areas where there is a lack of research will be named and explored with the hopes that the areas I intend to research have not received a substantial amount of attention at this time. Using the information from the literature review, I will further narrow and hone the scope of my topic, research question(s) and hypotheses. By the conclusion of the review, the proposal will have justified a rationale for my research in media psychology and provide a succinct evaluation of the current research.

Reality Television: A Media Psychological Literature Review

As aforementioned in the research proposal, the thrust of media psychology is to gain comprehension of the perceptions, interpretations, uses, responses, and relationships among media and media consumers. There are distinct benefits and the drawbacks to media consumption; media psychology helps identify them. Media psychology, like post modernism and other strands of criticism, reads media as a text alive with patterns of behaviors, varieties of relationships, and intersecting numerous cultures. Media psychology is a discipline made for 21st century as the media landscape of the times is much more rich, diverse, and abundant than other periods in human history. To reiterate, media is a much larger fixture in more people's lives around the world in the 21st century. New forms of literacy such as information literacy, visual literacy, and media literacy become vital for successful navigation and management of the information surplus of the technological revolution or information age in which the world is. The media community -- media critics, researchers, theorists, producers, consumers, and distributors -- all definitely agree that media affects human behavior and attitudes. As time goes on, the relevancy, significance, necessity, and utility of disciplines such as media psychology increases exponentially.

The information/digital age breeds a new type of consumer. Many more consumers have the ability to create and distribute their own media. We are in the age of the amateur-professional media producer with sites such as Youtube and Vimeo as prime examples of the wealth of diversity, ambition, and ingenuity of the amateur-professional media producer/consumer. These new kinds of consumers mark a shift in media and in culture. For generations, producers produced and consumers consumed. Now, with the advent of more digital consumer technology, the producer produces, while the consumer produces and consumes. This marks a shift in the psychology in the process of media production, distribution, and consumption.

Furthermore, as large media producers and companies recognize the power and the influence of the amateur-professional, they change their media to suit the needs of the consumer more so than in the history of modern media. The show "Lost" on the American Broadcasting Channel (ABC) is a prime example. There are numerous fan forums and sites for the show. Millions of fans contribute to the forums, sharing their ideas and sometimes fan fiction about how the storylines should go. The producers of the show brilliantly monitored the forums using and integrating the best ideas into the actual show. This generated even more fan loyalty and increased revenues. This kind of phenomenon would not have occurred fifty years ago. That situation is an example where the application of media psychology proves effective in explaining the occurrence and understanding what factors enacted the change as well as analyzing how such changes improved the life of the show on and off screen. A media psychological understanding of this occurrence would benefit media producers so that they could repeat the success of "Lost" to other media.

In the 21st century, there is more media, there are more forms of media, and there is increase interactivity with media. These changes in the consumers' relationship with media must have psychological affects upon them, but what are they? This is where media psychology proves most useful. The nature of media as well as the content of media changes rapidly. The consideration of how…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bruth, L. (2009) Publicized Intimacies on Reality Television: An Analysis of Voyeuristic Content and Its Contribution to the Appeal of Reality Programming. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(2), 190 -- 210.

Giles, D. (2003) Media Psychology: Chapter 14 -- Audience Participation and Reality TV. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.: Mahwah, NJ.

Hall, A. (2009) Perceptions of the Authenticity of Reality Programs and Their Relationships to Audience Involvement, Enjoyment, and Perceived Learning. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53(4), 515 -- 531.

Nabi, R.L., Biely, E.N., Morgan, S.J. & Stitt, C.R. (2003) Reality-Based Television Programming and the Psychology of Its Appeal. Media Psychology, 5, 303- 330.

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