Media Psychology

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Media Psychology

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Communication Studies, Media Studies, Psychology, Radio - Television - Film

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
    Information Skills
    Writing and Communication Skills
    Image Theory

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    1. Ability to identify basic psychological processes in communication
    2. Basic knowledge of psychological functions and mechanisms involved in communication processes
    3. Ability to identify and understand psychological dimensions in reception processes. Knowledge to identify and understand psychological effects of media on human development
    4. Introductory knowledge about mediations and the ecological system of mediations in human mind
    MODULE 1. Essentials of psychophysics and phenomenology of the spectatorship experience in pre-cinema and in
    early cinema.
    1. 1. Reality as a sign system and the photo-cinematic trace as index of the reality. Photography and the limits of
    visible. The reality impression. Gaze and representation (lingüistic and freudian approach).
    1. 2 Image machines. Essentials of the psychophysics of perception in the moving image. Retinal persistence (precinema)and the perspectiva artificialis: cinema as an open window to the world. Gaze and desire: the scopic
    1. 3. The assimilation of the representational patterns of the moving image. The building of the pectatorship in
    early cinema.
    MODULE 2. Narrative Cinema as a Desiring Journey
    2. 1. The Institutional Mode of Representation and the spectator¿s ubiquity. Construction and perception of the
    cinematic message through the continuity: the Kuleshov effect.
    2. 2. The Oedipal plot and the imaginary identification. The invention of the close shot and the cinegenia as
    engines of fascination.
    2. 3. The associative logic of the dreams and the subversión of reality. Surrealism and avant-garde.
    2. 4. From fascination to the ¿final ideological conclusion¿. The cinema of attractions and the emotional shock.
    MODULE 3. Building emotions on cinema and on the media
    3. 1. Laughter and the comic effect.
    3. 2. Melancholia and the melodramatic effect.
    3.3. Anxiety. The Culture of Fear.
    MODULE 4. Authenticity and spectacle. New modes of perception in the digital era
    4. 1. From the era of simulacra to YouTube. New Logics of the information and new ways of perceiving reality.
    4. 2. From synthesis image to 3D. The logic of spectacle and the return to the cinema of attractions.
    4. 3. Cinema, reality, and the missing trace. Phenomenology of perception in the present time.
    1. Lectures or class presentations on psychological processes, mediation and reception. Competencies 3 and 4 (1
    2. Laboratory, classroom and everyday experiences in psychological processes concerning basic functions.
    Competencies 3 and 4 (1 ECTS).
    3. Student's work.
    Supervised study of the theoretical and practical contents and teaching materials. Competencies 1, 2, and 3 (1,5
    Term papers. Writing an academic essay on technology and media processes applying the program's theoretical
    and practical criteria. Competency 4. (2 ECTS).
    Each student is required to fulfill:
    -Final examination: 60%
    -Exercices and Laboratory practices: 40%
    Involvement and participation will be additionally and specifically considered.
    % end-of-term-examination: 60
    % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals?): 40
    - Burch, N. Life to Those Shadows, University of Ca lifornia Press, 1990
    - Darley, A. Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres , , Routledge, 2000
    - Bergson, H. Laughter: An Essay on th e Meaning of the Comic, MacMillan, 1899
    - Freud, S. Mourning and melancholia . Standard Editionof of The Complete Psychological Works (Vol. 14),
    Random House, 2001
    - Freud, S. The uncanny. Standard Editionof of The Complete Psychological Works (Vol. 17), Random House,
    - Freud, S. The interpretation of the dreams. Standard Editionof of The Complete Psychological Works (Vol. 4),
    Random House, 2001
    - Freud, S. The interpretation of the dreams. Standard Editionof of The Complete Psychological Works (Vol. 5),
    Random House, 2001
    - Bazin, A. ¿The ontology of the photographic image¿, Film Quarterly 13 (4), Summer, 1960
    - Benjamin, W. "A short history of photography¿, Screen 13 (1), 1972
    - Crary, J. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the 19th Century, The MIT Press, 1990
    - Doanne, M. A. The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive, Harvard University
    Press, 2002
    - Gunning, T. "The Cinema of Attraction: Early Film, its Spectator and the Avant- Garde¿, Wide Angle v.8 n.3/4,
    - Mulvey, Laura isual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Screen 16.3, 1975

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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