Warm Welcome to Communication Visiting Scholars

Posted on: October 4, 2013

The Communication department is hosting two distinguished scholars from Germany during the month of October.

Peter Vorderer, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Mannheim, Germany, and Leonard Reinecke, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, are here doing research, developing ideas for future studies, and sharing their research at two separate colloquiums.

Leonard Reinecke

Leonard ReineckeReinecke, who holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Hamburg, came to MSU in 2009 as a doctoral student to work with Ron Tamborini, Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs in the Communication department. Reinecke is back as a visiting scholar so he can continue his research with Tamborini.

Reinecke will be on campus until Oct. 13. Before going back to Germany, he will present his research, which focuses on how media use affects the psychological well-being of users. The colloquium is Monday, Oct. 7, from 2-3 p.m. in the Communication Arts & Sciences building, Room 148.

Reinecke's research explores several "routes" leading from media use to psychological health and well-being. Daily activities, such as work chores and stressful events, place constant demands on us, both mentally and physically. Yet, Reinecke says, recovery does not occur automatically in the absence of these demands. The results of his research suggest different routes through which media use can induce the recovery experience and foster psychological well-being.

Reinecke's talk, titled "Media Use and Well-Being? Linking the Use of Entertaining Media to Recovery Experience and Vitality," will examine the theoretical connections between media entertainment and the recovery process and will review his research exploring the recover potential of entertaining media use.

Reinecke is the co-founder of the "Young Scholars Network on Privacy and Web 2.0," funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). He has conducted several other research projects in cooperation with international colleagues from the United States, including Michigan State University, and Europe. His work has been published in the Journal of Communication, Media Psychology, Journal of Media Psychology, and Computers in Human Behavior.

Peter Vorderer

Peter Vorder
Vorderer, who will be visiting through the end of October, is an expert in media psychology and interdisciplinary media research, especially in entertainment studies and new media.
His research focuses on exposure to entertaining content in various media books, TV, radio, audiotapes, video games, etc. and the effects this exposure might have on users. It addresses questions regarding why people, habitually or instrumentally, seek specific psychological states through specific media and what affect this media use has on them.

Vorderer's current research is focused on what he calls "the new phenomenon of being permanently online, permanently connected." This phenomenon pertains to people who are continuously online and connected through smartphones, tablets and other mobile technology. Vorderer is examining the manifestations of this behavior, the motivations for, and the short- and long-term consequences of it.

"People more and more often are present in social situations, but also absent at the same time," Vorderer said. "I am looking at the effects of that. Do we compromise our interactions with other people How does it affect our relationships? What are the long-term consequences?"

Vorderer has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Technical University of Berlin and two masters degrees, one in sociology from the University of Mannheim and the other in psychology from the University of Heidelberg. He is the president-elect of the International Communication Association.

Besides the colloquium, which will be scheduled later this month, Vorderer also will be teaching a doctoral seminar on the permanently online, permanently connected phenomenon while he is here and will continue to supervise the students in this class when he returns to Germany.

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