Psychology of the Digital Media

Study programme

If you are interested in the effects of the digital media on the human thought and behaviour and want to work as a data scientist, content manager, trainee social media, educational designer, or academic researcher, this programme is the right choice for you. 

The programme will provide you with cutting-edge knowledge about the effects of the digital media on information processing, learning, and work performance. You will learn to analyse these effects using innovative techniques such as experience sampling, text-mining, and learning analytics.

 

 

To increase your experience with digital media as a knowledge producer, the master programme includes innovative digital teaching methods, such as the use of online assessments and the creation of vlogs and blogs. The programme allows you to create either an applied or a more fundamental profile so that you can optimally prepare for a job outside of or in academia.

This programme is the best choice for students who are interested in a scientific approach to how digital media affect our daily life. Students with a bachelor degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, or Educational Psychology might be particularly interested in this programme, but the programme is suitable for students from all areas of psychology.

 

 

Teaching staff of Psychology in the Digital Media

 

Prof.dr. Rolf Zwaan

Rolf Zwaan is professor of Biological and Cognitive Psychology at the Institute of Psychology of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) and Chair of the Brain and Cognition Area. His main research interests are in language processing and meta-scientific aspects of psychology. A new research interest is conspiracy thinking.

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Dr. Daantje Derks

Daantje Derks is Associate Professor of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies/ Work and Organizational Psychology.

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Dr. Huib Tabbers

Huib Tabbers (PhD, Open University of the Netherlands, 2002) is Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests are learning from multimedia, cognitive strategies and instructional design.  

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The course will use an innovative educational format. There will be group discussions of current topics in the scientific literature on digital media. Students will convey their understanding of these discussions in the form of course-related blog posts and vlogs. The programme will be in English.

  • Block 1

    • 5 ECTS - 

      Digital media affects many tasks in organizational life. The communication with both clients and colleagues is dominated by e-mail communication either handled from a personal computer or on the move by using mobile devices. This not only affects the work domain, but also the home domain since many employees stay connected (24/7 availability) to their work even during leisure time. 

      Virtual teams support international collaborations with the direct consequence that expert input in projects has become time and place independent. The globalization has encouraged this development, in that new media have made the access to talent and knowledge more attainable and financially affordable. This also demands for new leadership styles that are adapted to the increased physical distance and mediated communication between leader and followers.

      Furthermore, the application of digital media has had a major impact on organizational training and development programs. Online learning and development programs facilitate lifelong learning on the work floor, which may imply that former transfer problems from the training to the work environment are reduced. Serious games are developed to simulate real work situations to give practice a new dimension without the costs associated with practicing in real life.

      Finally, when an employee decides it is time to make a next move on the labor market the chances that a webcam test is part of the selection procedure is significant. Companies try to make their selections methods more objective by using serious games as a selection tool as well. Online assessments have become part of the selection procedure and the chances that you really make a first impression during your job interview have decreased dramatically.

      In other words, the impact of digital media on organizational life is evident and goes beyond simply facilitating our work. The new innovations in technology have really changed the way we work. In this course, we will examine the impact of these innovations.

    • 2 ECTS -

      The practical of this course will build on the themes of the course.

    Block 2

    • 5 ECTS - 

      The digital media have a profound impact on how we understand the world. Much of what we learn comes from sources such as Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and so on. These media make have information at our fingertips 24/7. However, they also provide individuals and organizations with unprecedented ways to influence and shape our thinking.

      In this course you will use theories of human cognition (attention, memory, comprehension, thinking) to study the impact of the digital media on our thinking. It is important to understand how this happens.

      You will address questions such as the following ones.

      •           Why do negative messages attract more attention than positive ones?

      •           When a news report turns out to be fake, do we forget it or does it continue to influence our thinking?

      •           How are conspiracy theories formed and why are they so appealing to many people?

      •           Why do we tend to select messages and stories and “follow” people that we tend to agree with?

      •           Why do internet discussions often get derailed?

      •           What strategies can we use to make sure people use information from the digital media more critically?

      You will acquire a fundamental understanding of important theories in cognitive psychology and at the same time learn to apply these to understand important issues and processes in the digital media.

    • 2 ECTS - 

      In this practical you will learn to use text mining techniques to extract information structures from social media discourse as they relate to cognitive processes (e.g., the spead of false news, the evolution of conspiracy theories).

    Block 3

    • 5 ECTS -

      People have always used media to support their learning. However, online digital media seem to have revolutionized the way we learn. Our learning needs can now be met anytime, anywhere, and adapted to our individual preferences. From Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to intelligent tutoring tools, from adaptive practice to serious games, the online opportunities seem endless. From a psychological perspective, this raises a lot of questions about the effects on individual learners. How do they handle their own learning behavior in an online environment that allows for constant distraction? What role does multimodality play in the way that people learn? How does gamification affect both both achievement but also motivation of the learner? And how can we design online learning environments that optimally adapt to the learners needs? We will tackle these questions by having a closer look at the available scientific evidence, but also by relating this evidence to existing online learning tools.

    • 2 ECTS - 

      In this practical, we will dive into the exciting field of learning analytics: the use of digital trace data that enable to designer of online learning environments that adapt to the needs of the individual learner.

    Block 4

    Block 5