KAITLIN FITZGERALD

Areas of Research: Narratives, Prosociality, Well-Being, Entertainment Media Psychology

 
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I am a postdoctoral researcher at the School for Mass Communication Research at KU Leuven, Belgium.
I received my Ph.D. in Communication from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.


My research examines narrative and media message effects with a focus on how certain narrative experiences can foster positive, prosocial outcomes such as empathy and helping, moral sensitivity, and well-being. 

I have taught courses in persuasion and mass communication and I am a member of the Grizzard Entertainment Media Lab at The Ohio State University and the Media Psychology & Morality Lab at the University at Buffalo.
Currently, I am working on the ERC-funded project: ‘Malleability in mediated ideals: A paradigm to understand effects of contemporary media in adolescents’ well-being’ (project number 852317) with PI Dr. Laura Vandenbosch: see
Project MIMIc for more. 

Stories are not only my program of study, they are my favorite pastime. If you told my childhood self that one day, she would be researching narrative entertainment, you would have to first pry her away from the television screen.

 

EDUCATION

PH.D. IN COMMUNICATION

May, 2021

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Dissertation: “More than a good story: Enjoyment and appreciation in narrative persuasion.”
Advisor: Melanie C. Green, Ph.D.

M.A. IN COMMUNICATION

May, 2017

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Thesis: “Restorative narrative: A new approach to prosocial media.”
Advisor: Melanie C. Green, Ph.D.

B.S., WITH DISTINCTION, IN PSYCHOLOGY

May, 2015

James Madison University
Minor in Sociology
Thesis: "Helicopter parenting and parent-child attachment."
Advisor: Monica Reis-Bergan, Ph.D.

 
Workspace
Laptop Writing
Audiovisual Conference

PROGRAMMATIC RESEARCH

I conduct research from a quantitative and qualitative social scientific perspective.

DATA ANALYSIS

I have experience working with SPSS, Amos, R, and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA).

DISSEMINATION OF FINDINGS

My work appears in journals including 

Journal of Communication, Health Communication, and Media Psychology. 

I have shared my work at domestic and international conferences.

 

“The magic and the danger of fiction is this: it allows us to see through other eyes.

It takes us to places we have never been, allows us to care about, worry about, laugh with, and cry for people who do not, outside of the story, exist.”

― Neil Gaiman (2011), Afterword to Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale in Two Tomes

 

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