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From Selfies to Fan Experience: Research Interests - Pamela Rutledge


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Overview of some of my research interests for Dan Sewell's PhD Research Course at Fielding Graduate University: honing a good research question, body image, social impact of Twilight fans and selfies.

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From Selfies to Fan Experience: Research Interests - Pamela Rutledge

  1. 1. PA MELA R UTLEDGE, PHD A Q U E S T I O N O F RESEARCH @pamelarutledge
  2. 2. Pamela Rutledge, PhD • Areas of Interest: • Multi-platform storytelling • Brand psychology & brand story • Positive psychology & media experience • Questions I ask: • Where is the story? • What needs are satisfied? • What goals are at play? • How can we understand the positive side of media? • Constructs: • Empowerment, Agency, Engagement (Flow),Presence • Theoretical frameworks: • Self-Determination Theory • Social Influence • Evolutionary Psychology
  3. 3. Research Strengths • Finding a “doable” question • Narrative and qualitative approaches • Survey construction
  4. 4. Media Psychology Research • Media and technology consumption happens in context • Real world is messy and hard to measure • Isolating variables means being aware of potential interference and inherent assumptions CHALLENGES&OPPORTUNITIES
  5. 5. . What Good Question? 1. Presents a clear and focused problem 2. Synthesizes multiple sources 3. Based on a theoretical model 4. Shapes the problem into a testable hypothesis
  6. 6. Did You PhotoShop Your Facebook Picture? The Impact of Social Mediaon Self-Representationand Self-Image Presented at APA San Diego, 2010
  7. 7. Assumptions • Theoretical: • Social comparison is a automatic behavior • Self-efficacy influences global self-image • Environmental Influences • Information is increasingly on-demand and self- relevant • Authenticity is valued • Social media and interactive technology change the locus of control
  8. 8. Hypotheses • Due to the prevalence of “real people” on social media, women will be more influenced by their friends than celebrities • Body image is related to self-esteem and self- esteem is related to agency and competence. Therefore, perceptions of technological competence will be related to positive body image
  9. 9. Twilight: The Influence of Social • Twilight had many fans beyond the YA age group. • Often families/friends did not understand the fan’s attraction and interest. • Theoretical assumptions • Fan experience creates affiliation • Social connection and affiliation establish norms for groups • Popularity provides social proof of group value
  10. 10. Hypotheses • Active membership (defined by posting and commenting) would results in sense of social support and normalize the fan’s experience • Normalizing the fan experience would increase self-acceptance • Unexpected: • Fans took new perspective on self and changed aspects of their offline lives, such as working on relationships, getting new jobs, etc. • Question: • Was the impact of social support amplified by the Twilight message of unconditional love and acceptance?
  12. 12. Theoretical Assumptions • Self Determination Theory: • Taking control of self image increases agency • Selfies increase affiliation and connectedness • Frequent use of technology increases mastery • Achieving agency, connectedness and mastery increases positive emotions • Experiencing repeated positive emotions has a cumulative effect (Upward Spiral of Positive Emotions) and increases subjective well being • Social value of authenticity shifts values • Seeing an aspirational self is a pathway to cognitive change
  13. 13. Pilot Study • N=108 • Potential cognitive bias? • “my friends do it a lot, but I don’t” • Most common reasons for taking selfies: • documenting events • feeling good about looks • entertainment value (bored)
  14. 14. New Ways of Seeing Self I always try to edit the perfect selfie. I try to remove the acne or skin marks or flyaway hairs in an attempt to portray myself in a film like glorification of my life. It is a way to translate my image of myself to people who only see me through unfiltered eyes. I do not ignore that my appearance is imperfect, I just show my personality bleeding through the blemishes to make an outwardly beautiful person to reflect what I hope is a kind soul I have inside.
  15. 15. In Progress Research Questions • How do we understand selfies? • Platform choices • Demographics – meaning of social sharing • Conscious goals for taking and posting • Personality • How do we meaningfully measure eudaimonic versus hedonic experience of selfie-takingin the social space? • How does the meaning of self-portraiture change over time with technology? How much does the social zeitgeist influence behaviors?
  16. 16. THANK YOU