A Psychological Perspective on Media Literacy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In today‘s technology-driven society, the ability to effectively use information and communication technology (ICT) is essential in an educational context. The ability to ―access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts‖ (Ofcom, 2009, pg 4) is known in the UK as Media Literacy. To date, research on media literacy has focused primarily on the impact of demographic factors such as age, gender and socio-economic status. Apart from personality factors, the key role that Psychological factors play in media literacy has been overlooked. When viewed through a Psychological lens it is clear that all three components of media literacy: access, understanding and creation require in-depth examination both separately and in combination. This analysis applies at both the theoretical level and the empirical level. We ask: how Psychologically valid are current conceptions of media literacy? How accurately do they reflect perceptions and experiences of media use? We propose that the consideration of the psychological dimensions of media literacy skills is crucial if we are develop and full understanding of media literacy skills and capitalise on the learning potential of Web 2 technology. In this paper we highlight how Psychological theory and research has previously contributed to our understanding of our interactions with technology, the process of learning and consider how psychology can contribute to our understanding and application of new technologies within education. As a discipline with the objective of understanding behaviour, the consideration of the Psychological dimensions of Media Literacy is crucial for both education and society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience Education in a Rapidly Changing World
EditorsSeth D. Grahame
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
ISBN (Electronic) 9781617610387
ISBN (Print)9781617289149
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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