Media Effects Research Group | LSU Manship School of Mass Communication

Media Effects Research Group

Faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at the Manship School collaborate to conduct group and individual research in the School’s Media Effects Research Group (MERG). Interested faculty members and students are encouraged to contact the supervising faculty member for additional information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Our research group is about creating learning experiences and helping out one another so that each and every one of us can get the most out of our educational experience at LSU. Our group is about collectively and individually conducting research within the mass communication field.

We meet once every other week (sometimes weekly) for 2-3 hours. At the beginning of every semester, we identify individual and team needs, and throughout the semester, we work on our pre-determined goals. While the research group provides support and feedback for individual projects, it also collaborates as a team on one media effects-related project. The project becomes a product of a team effort, where every member contributes to the selection, design and analysis of the study. During meetings, the team produces various objectives for the group project, and then each member independently works on specific tasks assigned by the group. When the research team gathers again, team members discuss and compare progress and decide on next steps.

There have been several individual projects. For example, one student has focused on the following areas: the role of visualization techniques on environmental attitude and behavior change, cognitive and emotional responses to media, implications for strategic approaches to climate change discourse, the influence of place attachment and environmental experiences on pro-environmental behavior, and strategic communication techniques to foster coastal resiliency. Another student has focused on two research areas: 1) television exposure and beliefs on romantic relationship choices among African Americans and 2) the “Selfie” and how exposure to these images may induce social comparison and narcissistic personality traits. All of our work is connected in that it works with media effects and social psychology theories.

The Media Effects Research Group and the Media Effects Lab have provided some members opportunities to present research at international conferences and introduced them to other scholars in the field. Work has been presented at the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, and Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conferences.

The Media Effects Lab (MEL) has provided opportunities to conduct research to measure human attitudes and behaviors in an experimental setting. Some members had no experience with experimental research before using the MEL. We conduct both online and lab-based experiments.

The group mostly consists of Ph.D. and master’s students, and usually one undergraduate student. The small size of the group (usually 5-7 students) allows the team to provide sufficient feedback to each student on individual tasks for a group study or independent projects, on any given day. The research team brings international student diversity. Media effects themes unite students from diverse disciplines including media studies, psychology and other social sciences.