What’s next for Media Psychology Services?

By Jul.16, 2014

What’s next for Media Psychology Services?

This month we launched Media Psychology Services (MPS) where 25 delegates made their way to the top floor of the Allerton Building, University of Salford, for breakfast, demos of our laboratory facilities and roundtable discussions around what they would like to know about their clients, customers and digital communities.

How did we get here?

Our interests lie in Cognitive Psychology (Adam Galpin) and Social Psychology (Jenna Condie). We’re combining the two (and also ‘borrowing’ ideas and methods from other disciplines) to carry out user-testing, user-experience and social media analysis underpinned by psychological theory and scientific evidence.  More specifically, Adam has a background in visual attention, eye-tracking and quantitative methods and Jenna has a background in social inclusion, identity and qualitative methods.  Combining the two skillsets makes for interesting and holistic research projects and consultancy offerings. It isn’t just us either. We are based in an academic psychology department and our colleagues have diverse and varied interests in all aspects of human experience.  For example, our colleague Sharon Coen is a media psychologist with interests in media and political communication. We also teach the UKs first and only MSc in Media Psychology and our graduates are leading the way, taking media psychology out into industry.

Media Psychology Services 360 approachLast year we were successful in applying for internal university funding to establish our consultancy services.  We set to work aligning our previous and existing research and case studies to communicate the specific approach we take to understanding media experiences. We developed the 360 psychology wheel and recently introduced this approach at our launch event.  Through discussion with delegates from various organisations and backgrounds, it became evident that our message is important – in order to understand people’s media experiences, we need to take account of the whole person in context.

What’s next?

Our launch event created a number of opportunities for future research and consultancy projects, and potentially student ‘live’ projects and internships too. Our vision for the next year is to strengthen Media Psychology Services portfolio by collaborating with industry and other organisations (e.g. local authorities, charities) on user-experience, user-testing, and social media analysis projects.  We enjoyed our launch event so much – and also received the all-important feedback from potential clients we needed – that we are already planning our follow up event for next year.  We are also looking for events to take our demos out and about too!

Why would you work with us?

We are enthusiastic and committed to producing high quality research and practical solutions to inform the design of media products and digital communication strategies for audiences and online communities. We are flexible in that we have a number of methods in our toolkit (see our grid below). This means we can adapt to the ever changing media landscapes to make sense of contemporary media experiences now and in the future to come.

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If this article has sparked your interest, please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to meet for a coffee or chat over Skype!

Dr Adam Galpin 0161 295 7146 a.j.galpin@salford.ac.uk @galpinaj

Dr Jenna Condie 0161 295 2806 j.m.condie@salford.ac.uk @jennacondie

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