Integrating Media Selection and Media Effects Using Decision Theory

Jacob T. Fisher, Kristy A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Media psychology researchers seek to understand both why people choose certain media over others and how media influence cognitive, emotional, social, and psychological processes. A burgeoning body of literature has emerged in recent years describing media selection and media effects as reciprocally linked dynamic processes, but research approaches empirically investigating them as such have been sparse. In parallel, technological developments like algorithmic personalization and mobile computing have served to blur the lines between media selection and media effects, highlighting novel problems at their intersection. Herein, we propose an integrative approach for building an understanding of these processes rooted in decision theory, a formal framework describing how organisms (and nonbiological agents) select and optimize behaviors in response to their environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • dynamic systems
  • media effects
  • media selection
  • neuroeconomics
  • reinforcement learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology


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