Dr. Elizabeth L. Cohen
Areas of Study:
Psychology of Media and Pop Culture
Health communication and entertainment media
Social Influence of celebrities and fictional characters
Emotional responses to media
Elizabeth L. Cohen joined the WVU faculty in 2012. She specializes in media psychology. Broadly, she researches audiences’ cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses to different types of media content—including news and social media messages. Dr. Cohen specializes in studying people’s responses to pop culture and entertainment such as movies, graphic novels, celebrity news, reality TV, and digital games. Popular media culture is often criticized as being unhealthy or a waste of time, but her research tends to emphasize the positive effects that entertainment media has on educational outcomes, social relationships, and people’s health and well-being. Some of Dr. Cohen’s specific interests include people’s psychological attachments to fictional characters and celebrities, emotional effects of media consumption, narrative persuasion processes, fandom, presumed media influence, television coviewing habits, and media influences on people’s perceptions of social groups. She is currently an associate editor of Psychology of Popular Media.