Dr. Faye Steuer 55 Coming St., 1st floor

Phone: 953-8196 Email:


Packet of materials available at SAS-E Ink, 79 Wentworth St., across from Andolini's Pizza

Steuer, F.B., & Hustedt, J.T. (2002). TV or no TV? A primer on the psychology of television. Lanham,

MD: University Press of America.


Psychology 103 (Introductory Psychology) and Psychology 311 (Developmental Psychology).


In this course we will be examining the role of mass media in the development of human beings. There is more psychological literature addressing the role of television in the lives of children than other media or other age groups, so we will focus more on television and children than on other topics. However, we will examine recent research on other electronic media as well.

I think that you will find, as I have, that many fascinating issues come into play as you examine the role of media in development. These issues involve the nature of the media themselves as well as humans' reactions to them. By this time in history--roughly 55 years after the "beginning" of American television--a tremendous number of articles that examine media's role in development have been published. These articles form a massive body of work that is, in many ways, not ideally coherent. In selecting readings for this course, I have attempted to focus in on a few issues that I judge to be particularly important and interesting.


I expect all students to be in class, on time, every time we meet and to have read the assigned materials. Attendance will be taken every time we meet. Anyone missing three classes will be dropped from the course. (Such draconian measures are necessary because of the nature and structure of this course.)

I will give a short quiz at the beginning of most classes. You should expect one every time. These will give you an opportunity to see how well you are understanding the reading.


There will be four 50-point exams during the course of the regular semester. There will be a 50-point cumulative, take-home final. In-class exams will typically consist of some combination of multiple-choice, true-false, fill-in, and short essay questions.

With four 50-point exams and a 50-point final, you can earn a possible total of 250 points in the course. Your final grade will be based on the total number of points you earn, as follows:

234 - 250 points = A

217 - 233 points = B+

200 - 216 points = B

183 - 199 points = C+

166 - 182 points = C

149 - 165 points = D

0 - 148 points = F


If you have any questions or concerns about the course, please come and talk with me about them! The sooner you come, the better.

Office Hours: Mon. & Wed., 11 AM - noon, Tues. & Thurs., 2-3 PM, or by appointment

Schedule of Assignments and Exams

Date Assignment
Th, Jan 15 ***
Tu, Jan 20 Erikson, Eight ages of man (pp. 1-16)
Th, Jan 22 Steuer, Scientific approaches to studying devel (pp. 17-45)

Associated Press, Stone tablet found (p. 46)

White, One man's meat (p. 47)

Miscellaneous (p. 48)

Mander, Images disconnected from source (pp. 49-57)

Miscellaneous items (p. 58)

Tu, Jan 27 Paik, The history of children's use of electronic media (pp. 59-80)
Th, Jan 29

Maccoby, Television: Its impact on school children (pp. 81-104)

Family meals article (p. 105)

Tu, Feb. 3

Strasburger/Wilson, Media violence (pp. 106 - middle of 136 & middle of 146 - middle of 149)

Dittman, Childhood exposure to televised violence may predict (p. 150)

Wright, Guns, lies, and video (pp. 151-152)

Hughes, Video game violence isn't harmless fun (pp. 153-154)

Palmer, Violent song lyrics may lead to violent behavior (p. 155)

Kennedy, Babies react to emotions on television (p. 156)

Associated Press, Study suggests parents need simpler TV monitoring tools (p. 157)

Th, Feb. 5 EXAM I
Tu, Feb 10

Donnerstein & Smith, Sex in the media (pp. 158-177)

Kennedy, TV sex may be getting safer (p. 178)

Miscellaneous items, p. 179

Associated Press, Philanthropist leaves NPR $200M (p. 180)

Th, Feb 12 MacBeth, Indirect effects of television (pp. 181-193)
Tu, Feb 17 MacBeth, Indirect effects of television (pp. 193-207)
Th, Feb 19 MacBeth, Indirect effects of television (pp. 207-216)
Tu, Feb 24

Putnam, Bowling alone: America's declining social capital (pp. 217-225)

Kripilani, Study labels Minnesota 'the most caring' state (p. 226)

Benson, Investing in social capital (pp. 227-228)

Th, Feb 26 EXAM II
Tu, Mar 2

Winter, The demise of the age of literacy (p. 229)

Postman, The typographic mind (pp. 230-239)

Miscellaneous items (p. 240)

Winik, Death by pandering (p. 241)

Associated Press, Too much TV impairs ability to read well (p. 242)

Miscellaneous (p. 243)

Kalb, Playing ye olde way (pp. 244-245)

Associated Press, Scientific skeptics open NY office to educate journalists (p. 246)

Levy, Welcome to history 2.0 (p. 247)

Postman, Teaching as an amusing activity (pp. 248-254)

Date Assignment
Th, Mar 4 Herbert, Change the channel (pp. 255-256)

The Quill, FCC approves media-ownership reform (p. 257)

Polman, FCC revamps media ownership rules (p. 258)

Lemann, The chairman (pp. 261-268)

Greenburg & Bendavid, Senators scorch FCC for media ownership vote (pp. 269-270)

Cooper, A broader view of broadcasting (pp. 271-272)

Communications Today, 3rd circuit to review FCC's media ownership rules (p. 273)

Financial Times Info Ltd., US - Congress to block FCC's media ownership rules (p. 274)

Yang, Changing his channel (p. 275)

Lee, Musicians protesting monopoly in media (pp. 276-278)

(Mar 9 & 11)
----------------------------------------------------------------Spring Break-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tu, Mar 16

Kunkel, Children and television advertising (pp. 279-298)

Wall Street Journal, People meters tell more about viewers (p. 299)

Elliott, Most TV spots sold 3 months before Super Bowl (pp. 300-302)

Bower, Pricey pursuits take charge (p. 303)

Associated Press, Report likens morning shows to 'sophisticated infomercial' (p. 304)

Miscellaneous (p. 305)

Newsweek, Letters (pp. 306-308)

Sedaris, Tricked (pp. 309-312)

Th, Mar 18

Steuer & Hustedt, TV or no TV?, Preface and Chapters 1 - 4

Kuby & Csikszentmihalyi, Television addiction is no mere metaphor (pp. 313-318)

Salter, TV addicts a reminder of 'Fahrenheit 451' (p. 319)

Miscellaneous items (p. 320)

Tu, Mar 23 Steuer & Hustedt, TV or no TV?, Chapters 5 - 7
Th, Mar 25 EXAM III
Tu, Mar 30 Steuer & Hustedt, TV or no TV?, Chapters 8 and 9
Th, Apr 1 McKibben, selections from The age of missing information (on handout)
Tu, Apr 6 Gleick, selections from Faster (pp. 321-335)
Th, Apr 8

Miscellaneous (p. 336)

Knight Ridder, Fastest of the fast, smallest of the small (p. 337)

Guterl, Overloaded? (pp. 338-340)

Miscellaneous (p. 341)

Bailey, Compulsive cybersex can jeopardize marriage, rest of life (p. 342)

Tu, Apr 13

American Academy of Pediatrics, Media education (pp. 343-347)

Miscellaneous (p. 348)

Weiser, The hidden life of your television (p. 349)

Th, Apr 15 EXAM IV
Tu, Apr 20 ***
Th, Apr 22 ***
Tu, Apr 27 ***

*** There is no assignment but class attendance is expected.

(In the unlikely event that class is called off on the day of an exam, the exam will automatically be given the next time the class meets.)


First exam _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Second exam _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Third exam _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Fourth exam _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Extra credit 1 _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Extra credit 2 _______________ Cumulative total _______________

Cumulative total _______________

Final exam _______________ GRAND TOTAL _______________

234 - 250 points = A

217 - 233 points = B+

200 - 216 points = B

183 - 199 points = C+

166 - 182 points = C

149 - 165 points = D

0 - 148 points = F