Erica Scharrer

Professor & Chair
N312 Integrative Learning Center
Spring 2016 office hours: by appt.
413 545-6339

My research interests involve the study of media content, opinions of media, media effects, and media literacy, particularly regarding gender and violence. My work has appeared in Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and Media Psychology. I've co-authored three books with first author, George Comstock, including Media and the American Child (Elsevier, 2007) in which we provide a critical synthesis and review of the children and media literature. My edited collection Media Effects/Media Psychology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), part of the International Encyclopledia of Media Studies, provides a state-of-the-art review of the field. Particular emphases in my work include media depictions of masculinity, the third-person effect and other opinions about media influence, and the effectiveness of media literacy curricula.


PhD, Syracuse University

Courses Taught: 

Undergraduate: Communication First-Year Introduction; Social Impact of Media; Children, Teens, and Media; Media Violence. Graduate: Quantitative Methods; Media Literacy; Media Effects


with co-author Adam Zeller. "Active and sedentary gaming time: Testing associations with adolescents’ BMI." Journal of Media Psychology26(1/14), 39-49. 2014.

Media Effects/Media Psychology, Volume 5. A. Valdivia, general editor. The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies. Boston, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 2013.

"The behavioral, affective, and cognitive implications of media violence: Complex relationships between young people and texts" (pp. 209-216). In D. Lemish (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of children, adolescents, and media, Oxford, UK: Routledge. 2013.

"Representations of gender in the media." In K.E. Dill (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of media psychology (pp. 267-284). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 2013.

with co-author Lisa Wortman-Raring. "A media literacy curriculum on violence in the US: Studying young people’s written responses for evidence of learning."  Journal of Children and Media, 6(3), 351-366. 2012.

"More than 'just the facts'? Portrayals of masculinity in police and detective programs over time."  Howard Journal of Communications, 23, 88-109. 2012.

with co-authors Ana Bridges, Robert Wosnitzer, Chyng Sun, and Rachel Liberman, R. "Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos: A content analysis update." Violence against Women, 16(10), 1065-1085. 2010.

"Measuring the effects of a media literacy program on conflict and violence," Journal of Media Literacy Education, 1(1). 2009.

"Media exposure and sensitivity to violence in news reports. Evidence of desensitization?" Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 85(2), 291-310, 2008.

with co-author Ron Leone. "First-person shooters and third-person effects: Early adolescents' perceptions of video game influence." Human Communication Research, 34(2), 210-233. 2008.


Current Projects: 

Current work includes an experiment examining responses to images of injury in news coverage of war, an analysis of gendered forms of aggression in reality television, and an assessment of young people's responses to a media literacy curriculum on gender and violence.