Riddle 3Dr. Karyn Riddle

Karyn Riddle (PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the psychology of media with an emphasis on the effects of exposure to media violence.

In terms of children and media, Professor Riddle is primarily interested in elementary school-aged children’s fear responses to violent media – especially in the context of violence in the news. Some of her studies have explored adults’ long-term memories for being frightened by a disturbing news story as a child. She is also currently working on a research project designed to test coping strategies parents can use when their children become frightened by disturbing news reports. Recent publications include research articles in the Journal of Children and Media, Media Psychology, and Communication Research.


Mares 1Dr. Marie-Louise Mares

Marie-Louise Mares (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts. Her research interests focus on life-span developmental changes in media use, preferences, and interpretations.

Her research on children focuses on their interpretations of prosocial and educational media content, and the implications of media use for social attitudes and interactions.  Current projects focus on preschool-aged viewers’ interpretations of educational programs, elementary school viewers’ interpretations of tween TV depictions of social interactions, and adult age differences in what is perceived as meaningful in media content.

Recent publications include articles in Media Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology,  and Journal of Children and Media.


Kirkorian 1Dr. Heather Kirkorian

Dr. Heather Kirkorian is an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Human Development and Family Studies department. She received her Ph.D. (2007) in Developmental Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she also completed her post-doctoral training.

Broadly, Dr. Kirkorian’s research interests are at the intersection of cognitive development and media impact with an emphasis on attentional mechanisms and executive function. Her current projects explore the extent to which infants and toddlers can learn from interactive and non-interactive video, the development of attention to dynamic scenes using eye tracking, and the impact of television on very young children, particularly as it relates to solitary toy play and parent-child interaction as potential mediators of cognitive development.

Recent publications include a review chapter in Blackwell’s Handbook of Children, Media, and Development and empirical research articles in Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.


Cantor_Joanne_hs03_7551Dr. Joanne Cantor

Joanne Cantor (PhD, Indiana University) is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication Arts. Her research focuses on the educational and emotional impact of media on children and adolescents as well as the impact of digital technologies on people in all age groups.

Her research on has focused on media violence, media and children’s fears, methods of teaching science to children using techniques of theater, and the impacts of multitasking and information overload on productivity, creativity, and stress reduction.

Recent publications include articles in the Journal of Children and Media and the Journal of Chemical Education.