Understanding Media Psychology Can Help Break Down Stereotypes

By JuliAnne Rose

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – MediaLab’s Islamophobia documentary team interviewed an expert psychologist at Vassar College, Dr. Dara Greenwood, Ph.D., on the human capacity to perceive and respond to media and how humor can be used both as a vehicle and solution for prejudice on Monday.

Media, news or entertainment, is an industry that depends on viewership. Humans have a natural mechanism to perceive media in all forms, and this is a very complex and diverse process, said Greenwood. Because of this, many stereotypes abound in the media to enable the audience to make that immediate, recognizable connection to the character.

This is why Arabs and Muslims are often portrayed as evil, terrorists, or outsiders in many TV shows and movies in American entertainment media.

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