Author Archives: Gohar Chichian
Meaningful Media Now: SeptemberAs an organization interested in media impact, our “water cooler” chatter around the office often includes TV series and movies that moved us, music we’re addicted to, and media trends that affect us. Read on to see the meaningful media and cultural phenomenons HI staff has been talking about in September:
- Featuring: The Blackfish Effect
- Hell or High Water
- Green Day: Revolution Radio
This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.How many presidential candidates have you actually met in person? Not that many. A large majority of us — the electorate — meet our candidates through media. Whether it is watching a debate on television, scanning social media commentary from friends, or reading political analysis in a newspaper, nearly all of the evidence the presidential electorate utilizes in its voting decisions is delivered by media. If we are to have a chance at understanding how this evidence leads to a decision on Election Day then we must zoom in on the cycle of evidence and decision formation: did a campaign commercial or a debate appearance sway the voter’s choice? Did either compel the voter to donate to the candidate’s campaign or PAC?
“This isn’t a financial story – this is a psychological story.”This was the strategy behind Madoff, the ABC mini-series written by Ben Robbins that tells the tale of Bernie Madoff, the stockbroker associated with one of the largest Ponzi schemes and fraud convictions in American history. Ben joined Harmony Institute to discuss the production, the developing relationship between news and entertainment, and what captivates viewers.
People have different beliefs about what sorts of things are morally relevant. Most people agree that it is morally wrong to harm a child or cheat a stranger, but there is less agreement on the morality of respect for authority figures, loyalty to one’s community or country, or sexual chastity. Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) posits that that there is an organizing principle underlying this moral diversity; namely, that people’s moral concerns can be organized into five broad domains or “foundations.” These are harm, fairness, respect for authority, ingroup loyalty, and physical/spiritual purity.
As an organization interested in media impact, our “water cooler” chatter around the office took a different turn for April. This month, we ventured out to the Tribeca Film Festival. Many associate the festival with film, so we decided to spend our time exploring the lesser known but equally interesting side — the stories told through the interactive, immersive and virtual reality exhibits. Read on to see some of the meaningful media HI staff has been talking about from Tribeca in these emerging forms of storytelling:
When a person watches a video, their brain has an immediate, unconscious response that informs how they will understand what they’ve seen and how they will act on the information later. While we know that this connection exists, how and to what extent this instant experience of A/V media manifests behaviorally to create what we know as “social impact” is difficult to trace. The boundaries of current understanding of the human nervous system and technological roadblocks on accurate, real-time measurement make this a tough puzzle to unravel, but we have built a system that can take us in that direction. Specifically, we have developed a measurement system that records the electrical brain response at each frame of video media witnessed by a viewer. The project, which we refer to as “trailer brain,” seeks to find the connection between certain movie trailer video media and their behavioral outcomes via the conduit of nervous system measurement.