The Harmony Institute (HI) is an interdisciplinary research center that studies the impact of entertainment on individuals and society.
News and entertainment media alike shape public opinion. Our work draws on the methods and concepts of the humanities, data, and social sciences to gain insights on how ideas and information are portrayed, disseminated, consumed and transformed into individual and collective belief and action.
HI was founded by John S. Johnson (BuzzFeed, EYEBEAM, and the Screenwriters Colony) in 2007. After years in the film industry, Johnson recognized the need to better understand entertainment’s impact on audiences. HI was formed out of a desire to see entertainment meet the pressing needs of society, and to build a bridge between the worlds of mass media and science.
HI has assembled a unique team of researchers to link narratives, data, and the social sciences. Ranging from data scientists to visual designers, the team is equipped to answer complex questions about the impact of media in today’s society.
The Harmony Institute has conducted research for the Ford Foundation, MTV, and Free Press, among others. Media coverage of Institute work has included profiles in Science, The New York Times, Fast Company, GOOD, and others.