Fielding’s Media Psychology Program Welcomes Its First ClassSANTA BARBARA, Calif.Fielding Graduate Institute welcomed its first class of students this fall in the school’s newly created Ph.D. program in Media Psychology. The students are all mid-career professionals from organizations as different as Disney, Gateway Computers and Stanford Medical Center. They will continue to work in their respective professions while gaining their degrees.The Media Psychology program, which is the first in the world, is designed for professionals coming from a wide variety of disciplines who want to study the effects of media on human behavior and address the convergence of media, technology, communication, art and science. Dr. Bernard Luskin, director and creator of the program, calls the field “pscybermedia,” a blend of psychology, artificial intelligence (cybernetics) and media. Both an art and a science, the emerging field represents significant opportunity to use media in new and creative ways by understanding how psychology and media work together.“Psychology is fundamental in the world of new media for understanding media impact on society, and in developing media-centric products and services affecting our lives,” Luskin says. Fielding’s president Dr. Judith L. Kuipers says the response for the program was “extremely positive,” which she attributes to the reputation of the school’s doctoral program in clinical psychology.“It is not surprising to see this response since Fielding has one of the largest and most prestigious clinical psychology Ph.D. programs in the country,” Kuipers says.The program, which was announced in April, evolved from work with the Media Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association and several years of research at Fielding, according to Dr. Ronald Giannetti, dean of the school of psychology.
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