People Directory

Mary Beth Oliver

Distinguished Professor / Co-Director of Media Effects Research Laboratory, Media Studies


Mary Beth Oliver specializes in media and psychology, focusing on both the psychological effects of media and on viewers' attraction to or enjoyment of media content. Her research includes studies pertaining emotional and cognitive responses to media entertainment, media violence (including horror and suspenseful films), reality-based television programs, gender and media, and media portrayals of racial groups and the effects of such portrayals on viewers' racial attitudes.

In 2008, Oliver co-edited with Jennings Bryant the third edition of "Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research" (2008, Routledge). The book serves as a comprehensive reference volume for media effects study. Covering the breadth of the media effects arena, the third edition provides updated material as well as new chapters focusing on effects of mobile media and other technologies.

Her work has appeared in such journals as the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Communication Research, Human Communication Research and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, among others. She was the recipient of a Fulbright award in 2006 to study media stereotyping of Maori populations in New Zealand. She currently serves as co-editor of the journal Media Psychology, and has served as associate editor of the Journal of Communication and Communication Theory.

Oliver teaches media effects, communication research methods and data analysis.


  • Emotional And Cognitive Effects Of Media
  • Media Portrayals
  • Media Violence
  • Reality Television
  • Stereotyping