Media2Inspire: A Symposium for the Digital Age

FSU School of Communication professor, Dr. Art Raney, along with postdoctoral scholar in positive media psychology Dr. Katherine R. Dale, collaborated with researchers from schools of communication at Chapman University and Pennsylvania State University to host Media2Inspire: A Research Symposium on Self-Transcendent Media Content and Experiences at the Florida State Conference Center April 20-21, 2018. With financial support from the John Templeton Foundation, Media2Inspire is the first symposium of its kind in examining inspirational media and its effect on self-transcendent emotions. Researchers from this three-year Media2Inspire project study the relationship between media and self-transcendent emotions that motivate pro-social behavior and an “others-praising” perspective. The symposium brought these researchers together.

“Media often get accused—and perhaps rightly so—for contributing to anger, cynicism, and divisiveness,” Raney commented. “So, it was incredibly refreshing and stimulating to spend two days with leading scholars from around the world discussing how media can foster psychological well-being and connectedness with others.” Researchers shared their work with symposium attendees and fostered discussion on how this knowledge can enlighten parents, educators, politicians, clinicians, and more on how to maximize character-building through positive media.

“The presentations at Media2Inspire represented the cutting edge of research in the growing area of positive media psychology. I am convinced that the conversations started at the symposium will help shape how we come to understand media as a potential force for human flourishing in the coming decades,” said Raney.

FSU School of Communication Assistant Professor Dr. Russell Clayton (pictured on left below) and Dr. Dale (pictured below on the right) presented at the symposium along with over a dozen other researchers from the University of California to the University of Oslo and many places in between. Positive media psychology experts Mary Beth Oliver, Alan Page Fiske, and Robin Nabi were keynote speakers at the event.