A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication  book cover
7th Edition

A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication

ISBN 9781138046276
Published December 18, 2018 by Routledge
500 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $16.99
was $84.95
USD $67.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In a constantly changing media landscape, A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication is the go-to text for any course that examines mass communication from a psychological perspective.

Now in its seventh edition, the book continues its exploration of how our experiences with media affect the way we acquire and process knowledge about the world and how this knowledge influences our attitudes and behavior. Updates include end-of-chapter suggestions for further reading, new research and examples for a more global perspective, as well as an added emphasis on the power of social media in affecting our perceptions of reality and ourselves.

While including real-world examples, the book also integrates psychology and communication theory along with reviews of the most up-to-date research. The text covers a diversity of media forms and issues, ranging from commonly discussed topics such as politics, sex, and violence, to lesser-studied topics, such as emotions and prosocial media.

Readers will be challenged to become more sensitized and to think more deeply about their own media use as they explore research on behavior and media effects. Written in an engaging, readable style, the text is appropriate for graduate or undergraduate audiences.

The accompanying companion website also includes resources for both instructors and students.

For students:

  • Chapter outlines and review questions
  • Useful links

For instructors:

  • Guidelines for in-class discussions
  • Sample syllabus
  • Summaries

Please visit www.routledge.com/cw/sanborn

Table of Contents


1. Mass Communication in Our Digital Society: The Changing Media Landscape

2. Research and Theory in Mass Communication: How Are Media Studied Scientifically?

3. The Psychology of Mass Communication: Thinking about Our Media Use

4. Emotions and Media: Music and Sports as Exemplars

5. Media Portrayals of Groups: Distorted Social Mirrors

6. Advertising: Baiting, Catching, and Reeling Us In

7. News: Setting an Agenda about the World

8. Politics: Using News and Advertising to Win Elections

9. Violence: Media Mayhem Matters

10. Sex: Is Tuning In Turning Us On? Sexuality through a Media Lens

11. Socially Positive Media: Teaching Good Things to Children (and the Rest of Us)

View More



Fred W. Sanborn is Professor of Psychology at North Carolina Wesleyan College, where he teaches a wide range of psychology courses. He is also the founding director of the NCWC's Teaching and Learning Center and the assistant director of the Honors Program.

Richard Jackson Harris is Professor Emeritus of Psychological Sciences at Kansas State University in Manhattan KS, where he worked from 1974 until his retirement in 2016.


"A textbook on the psychology of media uses and impacts should be scientifically rigorous, relevant to the contemporary media environment, and written engagingly. I have used A Cognitive Psychology of Mass Communication in my Media Processes and Effects course several times and look forward to implementing this new edition." -- Paul Wright, Indiana University