I am a Visiting Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

My research interests are twofold. One program investigates morality using mass communication phenomena. The other program investigates the relationship between mediated violence and aggression using communication technology phenomena. My work uses (online) experiments, surveys, content analyses, and virtual simulations to extend and challenge existing moral psychological and aggression theories.

My current research in morality investigates how moral considerations influence media entertainment. My studies test how character dispositions form, evolve, and bias moral judgment. My work on aggression investigates how individual differences (e.g., skill) and emergent experiential states (e.g., flow) bias people’s perceptions of violent content.

Proseminar – Huub Evers

Huub Evers

Media accountability and transparency in Europe: First results of a comparative study 

On this Friday the 13th, Huub Evers from Fontys University of Applied Sciences shared his trans-European research project, which is part of mediaACT. One of the primary goals of his research was to evaluate the strength of accountability  and self-regulation that occurs in journalism on and offline. I found his information on online accountability most interesting. He described that contemporary online journalism often asks journalists to maintain professional profiles, provide links to sources, and be sensitive to consumer’s feedback via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, in surveying 1,732 journalists, Huub found that they tend to be ambivalent about accountability instruments (e.g., press councils) and they believe that consumer criticisms are largely misinformed due to their lack of expertise.

Huub’s research that began in January 2010 will continue until the Summer of 2013. The final goal is to submit policy suggestions to the European Union aimed to strengthen self and press regulation.

Proseminar – Grabe, Samson, Bas

Grabe, Samson, Bas

Female anchor sexuality on display

IU Telecom‘s Betsi Grabe, Lelia Samson, and Ozen Bas gave a special, full-session presentation on their investigation into female anchor sexuality. They reflected that past anchors used to be androgynous but recently there has been a shift toward emphasized sexuality. To observe how both genders react to this shift, they had an actress present the same news dressed either sexually or professionally.

They found that men remembered less of the news content in the sexualized condition and thought that the anchor was less qualified to report on hard news (e.g., war, politics, etc.). By evaluating open-ended questions, they found that women derogated the sexualized anchor on attributes that would make her attractive as a nurturer (e.g., agreeableness, conscientiousness, etc.).

The talk spawned a great deal of interest in the crowd. The consensus was that the next step of the research may benefit from investigating how position within the menstrual cycle of both the anchor and the viewer would affect responses.