The Ripple Effect is an interdisciplinary blog that offers commentary, analysis, and information in the quest to better understand the influence of media and entertainment. Here you will find a range of news and informed opinion, covering topics from the social sciences to Hollywood.

Although The Ripple Effect is written for a wide audience, our researchers and commentators aren’t afraid to tackle complex issues. We think our community deserves clear, intelligent reporting supported by strong evidence. We may not always provide definitive answers, but will strive to ask the important questions.

Most of all, The Ripple Effect is a space for interaction. We value a dialogue with diverse communities, from activists and nonprofits, to audiences and academics. The Ripple Effect is a space for researchers to reflect on current topics and encourage engaged, thoughtful discussion. We do our best to respond to our readership.

We are excited to hear from our readers and encourage critical thought and feedback. Our editors will moderate comments to promote thoughtful conversation. In general, comments will be approved as quickly as possible. Following these guidelines will help us foster a productive dialogue. Most of them are common sense or courtesy.

Comments should:

  • Be relevant. Address the topic of the post or a specific point that the author makes
  • Be succinct and have a clear tone. Irony and sarcasm are difficult to pick up on the web.
  • Respect other sources. If you bring up another’s thoughts or research, give them credit by mentioning their name or linking to their research.

Comments should not:

  • Contain personal attacks or abusive language.
  • Include private or overly personal information.
  • Post irrelevant, off-topic information or spam.

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The Ripple Effect is an independent blog run by the Harmony Institute (HI) and its extended professional and academic networks.

HI is a research center dedicated to revealing the influence of entertainment and believes that mainstream media, combined with the power of strong storytelling, can be instrumental in producing lasting social change. By looking beyond traditional indicators (such as box office and audience size), HI reveals entertainment’s social return for clients. HI also serves as an experimental lab, researching and developing new tools and methods for understanding the influence of media and entertainment.