NEWS AND events

"Facebook sharing can boost involvement with news and information"(Jan 15, 2015)
“People who share news on social media sites may connect more with that information " fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Valuable movies and valued movies may be two different things"(Nov 12, 2014)
“Action movies may drive box office revenues, but dramas and deeper, more serious movies earn audience acclaim and appreciation, according to a team of researchers.." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Interaction history beats interactive chat for website engagement"(Oct 10, 2014)
“ Small cues that display a user's transaction history may help a website feel almost as interactive as chatting with an online customer service agent, paving the way for more cost-effective websites, according to researchers..." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Grant to help find why people reveal information online"(Sept 24, 2014)
“ Penn State researchers have received a $262,383 grant from the National Science Foundation to better understand why people disclose or withhold private information during online transactions..." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Mobile phone bling may be a personal, but also cultural thing "(Sept 24, 2014)
“ Choosing mobile phone cases and customizing phones with charms and decorations may reveal a lot about a person's culture, as well as increase attachment to the devices, according to researchers..." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Boosting self-expression online may limit impulsive purchases"(Dec. 10, 2013)
“Long online transactions can take a toll on a person's self-control, but adding more self-expression and personal identity to those processes can help restore control, according to Penn State researchers." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"The psychology of 'click here'"(Oct. 14, 2013)
“Let’s play a game. Look around you and count the number of people you see using a smartphone. Ten points for every person sitting alone scrolling endlessly through different social media platforms. Would you say we are attached to interactive media? Obsessed? Addicted?" fromThe Quad... Click to read more.

"Esteem issues determine how people put their best Facebook forward"(Sep. 5, 2013)
“How social media users create and monitor their online personas may hint at their feelings of self-esteem and self-determination, according to an international team of researchers." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Studies tout the benefits of using engaging websites to assess risk"(July 21, 2013)
“The typical image of a "mouse potato" is that of someone sitting in front of a computer, interacting online but generally sedentary offline. However, such online activity can be a catalyst for offline action." fromCentre Daily Times... Click to read more.

"Robot mom would beat robot butler in popularity contest"(July 8, 2013)
“If you tickle a robot, it may not laugh, but you may still consider it humanlike -- depending on its role in your life, reports an international group of researchers." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Dr. S. Shyam Sundar named editor of Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication"(June 25, 2013)
“S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor of communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory housed in the College of Communications at Penn State, has been named editor of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC)." fromPenn State News... Click to read more.

"Talking Tissue Boxes: Don't Laugh, You Really Like Them"(May 2, 2013)
“We talk to our phones (thank you, Siri), so why can't our tissue boxes respond appropriately when we sneeze?" fromTIME... Click to read more.

"Mix of emotions color a film fan's viewing experience"(Feb. 20, 2013)
“There's a big difference between enjoying a movie and appreciating it, say behavioral researchers who study how what we see on the big screen affects our moods and psyches.” fromUSA Today... Click to read more.

"We Eat, Live and Breathe Internet"(January 17, 2013)
“It is now at a point where we eat, live and breathe Internet.In many ways, we are in the Internet ecosystem and it is ubiquitous.” from the Daily Collegian... Click to read more.

A new book chapter by Sundar, S. S., Oh, J., Kang, H., & Sreenivasan, A.(2013)
A book chapter titiled How does technology persuade? Theoretical mechanisms for persuasive technologies. In J. P. Dillard & L. Shen (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Persuasion (2nd ed.): Developments in Theory and Practice. Click for more information of the book.

This Is Your Life, as Recalled by an App(December 15, 2012)
“Some researchers who study how people interact online say that archive services are a logical evolution for social media and hold the potential for longer-term value ” from The New York Times... Click to read more.

Comments, Traffic Statistics Help Empower Bloggers(Nov. 19, 2012)
“Whether bloggers are writing to change the world, or just discussing a bad break-up, they may get an extra boost of motivation from traffic-measuring and interactive tools that help them feel more connected to and more influential in their communities, according to researchers.” According to a news story from the ScienceDaily... Click to read more.

Retweeted Health Messages May Not Be What the Patient Ordered(Sep. 26, 2012)
“People are more likely to trust health messages tweeted by doctors who have a lot of followers, but not the messages they retweet, according to researchers.” from the ScienceDaily... Click to read more.

A Billion-Dollar Turning Point for Mobile Apps(April 10, 2012)
“Now, at a time when the mobile start-up Instagram can command $1 billion in a sale to Facebook, some start-ups are asking: Who needs the Web? ” An interesting piece on app development from The New York Times... Click to read more.

No LOL Matter: Tween Texting May Lead to Poor Grammar Skills(July 25, 2012)
“Text messaging may offer tweens a quick way to send notes to friends and family, but it could lead to declining language and grammar skills.” According to Dr. Shyam Sundar's recent research in a news story from the ScienceDaily... Click to read more.

New Online Users Have A Longer Timeline(July 12, 2012)
“Facebook started as a social network for college students. But now that anyone can join, here's a status update: Many of its newest members are senior citizens.” A news story senior citizens' use of technology fromNPR... Click to read more.

It's Not About You, Facebook. It's About Us(February 11, 2012 )
“Users feel like they have a sense of agency, like they are shareholders.” Dr. Shyam Sundar talks about Facebook in a news story from the New York Times... Click to read more.

A new book chapter from Dr. Sundar, Qian Xu, and Xue Dou (2012)
Dr. Shyam Sundar, Qian Xu (assistant professor at Elon University), and Xue Dou (current doctoral student) recently published a book chapter titled Role of Technology in Online Persuasion: A MAIN Model Perspective in a new book Advertising Theory edited by Shelly Rodgers and Esther Thorson. Click for more information of the book.

Online news portals get credibility boost from trusted sources (Jan 31, 2012)
When readers access a story from a credible news source they trust through an online portal, they also tend to trust the portal, said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory... Click to read more.

Obsessions: Crying at the movies (February 10, 2012)
People certainly go to the movie theater with the intention of having a good cry and letting out certain emotions, Oliver said. However, she added, there are many reasons why films make people feel better, and the movie itself might not even be one of them... Click to read more.

More than Enjoyment (2011)
Dr. Mary Beth Oliver and Dr. Anne Bartsch co-authored a new article titled Appreciation of Entertainment: The Importance of Meaningfulness via Virtue and Wisdom, suggests the experience of appreciation to media entertainment as a unique audience response that can be differentiated from enjoyment... Click to read more.

People tend to exaggerate the influence of political ads (August 3, 2011)
In an experiment, people who viewed negative political advertising said the advertisements had little effect on their own opinions, but believed the ads would have a greater influence on others, said Fuyuan Shen, associate professor, communications, Penn State... Click to read more.


Conversations with Dr. Sundar from Penn State, "Exploring Media Effects" (WPSU-TV)
Dr. Sundar talks about shifting norms and etiquette in the age of social media, about the reliability of online information, and about what interactivity might look like for future generations.

Dr Mary Beth Oliver talks about violence in movies
Dr. Oliver talks about research on the effects of violence in movies.

Dr. Sundar talks about media effects research on "Central PA Live"
Dr. Sundar introduces media effects research and our lab on "Central PA Live." Click to view.

Podcasts: "On Media and Race" from Penn State Research Unplugged
Dr. Oliver talks about research on media and race. Click for the podcast.


Migrating your Quatrics account (surveys and data)
Our Qualtrics group has been recently upgarded from to The original group location - will not be supported by the College of Communications. Please follow the directions to transfer your survey(s) and data to new PennState Qualtrics account... Click to view directions.

Upcoming EVENTS

Big Data in the Social Science
Explore that data set with the R language and the R survey package in a structured format.
Time: TBA
Location: Media Effects Lab
Contact Ashley Han if you have any question or suggestion regarding this event.

Past Events

Psychophysiological Measures Workshop
Dr. James D. Ivory from Virginia Tech game us a Skype presentation, reviewing the physiological measures he has employed in this past research including the tracking of heart rate, skin conductance, and the use of facial EMG measurement.

Implicit Measurements in Media Effects Studies
Dr. Mary Beth Oliver talked about the use of implicit measurements in various media effects related studies

Graduate Students Research Showcase
Research presentations that were co-hosted with CommGRAD Forum for current graduate students to prepare their upcoming conference presentations.

Guest Lecture: Dr. Maria Elizabeth Grabe
Dr. Maria Elizabeth Grabe from Indiana University at Bloomington will visit the campus and give a guest lecture. Please click here for more information about this event. For more information about Dr. Grabe, please visit:

Workshops: De-mystifying Psychophysiology
Doctoral student Saras Bellur gives a series of workshops on the basics of psychophysiology measurements and how to collect psychophysiology data (by using BIOPAC). The workshops are supported by President's Fund.

Session I - Basics and Heart Rat & Skin Conductance Measurement

Session II - Brain Wave

Research Presentation: SLG Research
Dr. Sundar gives a talk about the current research projects in his research group (SLG) at the Open House for prospective doctoral applicants hosted by the College of Communications.

Demo: BioNomadix from BIOPAC
Jason Cole, a BIOPAC representative, gives a demo of their new wireless psychophysiological measurement solution (Bionomadix system and B-Alert system).