An important mission of the Media Effects Research Laboratory is to serve as a training ground for young media effects researchers. As part of its teaching mission, the lab offers hands-on experience with the practical aspects of conducting laboratory experiments to undergraduate as well as graduate students. Students enrolled in Penn State classes on media effects and research methods use the lab for conducting their class assignments on observation and measurement techniques as well as for performing their end-semester group projects.
For syllabi of current courses which make use of the lab, click any of the course links below:
Comm 118: Introduction to Media Effects, Dr. Mary Beth Oliver
Comm 517: Psychological
Aspects of Communication Technology, Dr. S. Shyam Sundar
Since 2005 we have been able to train select undergraduate media effects students in collecting psychophysiological data thanks to the President's Fund for promoting theory-based undergraduate research. Students who apply and are selected typically meet with lab coordinators once per week throughout spring semester to learn the various methods and even collect some data from participants.
This is a great opportunity for those interested in media effects research, and especially those considering graduate school in the field. Psychophysiological measures are being looked to more in the research field, especially as technology advances, so experience in collecting and analyzing a variety of psychophysiological data is a strong selling point for any media effects student.