Erica Scharrer

Erica Scharrer, Ph.D.
S330 Integrative Learning Center
Fall 2019 office hours: On Sabbatical
413 545-1311 (leave message)

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 ways that early adolescents respond to media literacy curricula.


PhD, Syracuse University

Courses Taught: 

Undergraduate: Social Impact of Media; Children, Teens, and Media; Media Violence. Graduate: Quantitative Methods; Media Literacy; Media Effects


with co-authors Laras Sekarasih, Christine J. Olson, Gamze Onut, & Kylie Lanthorn. "Effectiveness of a school-based media literacy curriculum in encouraging critical attitudes about advertising content and form among boys and girls." Journal of Advertising, 2019.

with co-authors Christine J. Olson, Kylie Lanthorn, Gamze Onut, and Laras Sekarasih. "Producing PSAs on consumer culture: Youth reception of advertising." Critical Studies in Media Communication, 36, 58-64. doi: 10.1080/15295036.2018.1526390. 2019.

with co-author Greg Blackburn. "Cultivating conceptions of masculinity: Overall television use, genre viewing, and perceptions of norms regarding masculine gender roles." Mass Communication & Society. DOI: 2018.

with co-author Greg Blackburn. "Video game playing and beliefs about masculinity among male and female emerging adults." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11199-018-0934-4. 2018

with co-author Greg Blackburn. "Is reality TV a Bad Girls Club? The ability of overall television and docusoap reality television exposure to cultivate approval of aggression." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/1077699017706482. 2017.

with co-authors Karen Dill-Shackleford, Srividya Ramasubramanian, Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Melinda Burgess, and Dafna Lemish. "Social groups stories in the media and child development." Pediatrics, 140 (issue supplement 2), S157-S161. DOI: 2017.

with co-authors Laras Sekarasih, Kimberly Walsh McDermott, Donica O’Malley, Christine Olson. "To guide or to be the sage: children’s responses to varying facilitator prompts following a media literacy education curriculum in the United States." Journal of Children and Media, DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2016.1157503. 2016.

with co-authors Laras Sekarasih, Kavita Nayar, Donica O’Malley, and Christine Olson. "Entertaining audiences, ensuring inclusivity, and considering media influence: Sixth-graders’ understanding of media producers’ responsibility." Communication Review, 19(2), 128-152. 2016.

with co-author Srividya Ramasubramanian. "The role of media literacy education in influencing stereotypes of race and ethnicity." Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 170-184. 2015.

with co-authors Laras Sekarasih and Kimberly Walsh. "Media violence is made to attract and entertain': Responses to media literacy lessons on the effects of and institutional motives behind media violence." Journal of Media Literacy Education, 6(3), 1-13. 2015.

with co-authors Karen Dill-Shackleford, Melanie C. Green, Craig Wetterer, and Lee Shackleford. "Setting the stage for social change: Using live theater to dispel myths about intimate partner violence." Journal of Health Communication, 20(8), 969-976. 2015.

with co-author Greg Blackburn. "Images of injury: Graphic news visuals’ effects on attitudes toward the use of unmanned drones." Mass Communication & Society, 18(6), 799-820. 2015.




Current Projects: 

Current work includes the study of young people's responses to a media literacy program on advertising and commercial culture as well as a study of early adolescents' views of the ratings used to label TV, movies, and video games for violence and other types of content.