Trying to Understand the Role of Technology in Journalism
September 15th: Bruce Garrison (Professor, Journalism & Media Management)
Professor Garrison discussed his research that focuses on new technologies and their roles in information gathering in journalism. He also discussed some of his other recent research projects.
Games on the Edge: More Than Fun, Still Fun
September 22nd: Clay Ewing (Assistant Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media)
More than 150 million Americans play video games. As the field matures, game designers are pushing the boundaries of what the medium is capable of. Professor Ewing will talk about his work on games for social impact, advocacy, and public health.
Clean Gear as the New Badge of Honor: Building a Culture of Risk Reduction in South Florida Firefighters
September 29th: Tyler Harrison (Professor, Communication Studies)
Firefighters face increased cancer risks compared to the general population. Firefighter organizational culture may contribute to that increased risk through valuing cultural artifacts such as dirty gear, which helps establish expertise and reliability, but which also increases exposure to carcinogens. Our research employed ethnographic and focus group methods to explore the current culture and process of culture change among firefighters in Beach Side Fire Rescue. High profile cancer deaths led to an internal team working to promote culture change to reduce cancer risk. Firefighters reported high concern with cancer risk to the point of fatalism. Firefighters acknowledged the historic meaning of dirty gear, but report cultural change is occurring. However, occupational practices and the need for immediate safety collide with new practices designed to reduce long-term cancer risk. Based on these findings we designed, implemented, and evaluated a health intervention based on behavior change models (EPPM, TRA, HBM) designed to change knowledge, attitudes, and intentions toward cancer risk reduction.
Using Theory to Drive Intervention Design and Development: The Mighty Girls Story
October 13th: Anne Norris (Professor, Nursing)
The Mighty Girls intervention combines classroom sessions with a highly interactive virtual reality game that uses digital puppetry. The theoretical framework driving intervention design is a combination of the communication competence model (CCM), social cognitive theory (SCT), Narrative Engagement Theory, the Theory of Fun, and knowledge of cognitive development and Hispanic cultural values. This presentation will discuss the use of focus groups and interviews, prototype testing, a feasibility trial, and a study of game play under free choice conditions to develop and refine the intervention. The interweaving of cultural grounding throughout this process to ensure that the resulting intervention was culturally as well as developmentally tailored will also be discussed.
What Is the Value of a Memory? Nostalgia, Advertising, and the Irrational Value We Place on Our Memories
October 27th: Patrick Vargas (Professor, Advertising, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
Prof. Vargas will present some preliminary research on the extent to which we value our memories, and speculate on why our memories are so important to us. He will discuss why our memory valuations are irrational, and propose research to test whether we can take a rational position on our own memories. He will review research on nostalgia from psychology and advertising, and speculate about a plan of research involving programmatic, nostalgia-based advertising.
The Sociopolitical Aspects of Advertising & Consumption
November 3rd: Sunny Tsai (Associate Professor, Strategic Communication)
Various research projects addressing the sociopolitical aspects of advertising in relation to consumer identity and culture will be presented. Topics include female consumers' relationship with beauty ideals in advertising, the politicized gay consumer culture, multicultural advertising, and consumer ethnocentrism and nationalism in today's globalized market.
Beauty and Negativity at the Ballot Box: Effects of Negative Political Advertising and Attractiveness on Candidate Evaluation
November 17th: Juliana Fernandes (Assistant Professor, Strategic Communication)
Research on the attractiveness stereotype has found that people who are considered attractive receive higher evaluations on several trait dimensions as compared to unattractive people. This finding was shown on several social contexts, such as politics, donations, and imprisonment sentences. In this talk, Professor Fernandes will discuss the conditions under which negative political advertising and physical attractiveness might be beneficial or detrimental to political candidates and the image they portray to voters.