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[Commlist] CfP: Theoretical Consolidation and Innovation in Media Psychology

Tue Mar 03 19:19:46 GMT 2020

Call for Papers

“Theoretical Consolidation and Innovation in Media Psychology”

A Special Issue of the Journal of Media Psychology, Curated by the Editors

Nicholas D. Bowman(1), Allison Eden(2), Jesse Fox(3), Christoph Klimmt(4), Özen Odağ(5), Catalina Toma(6), and Ivar Vermeulen(7)

(1)Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
(2) Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
(3) The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
(4) Department of Journalism and Communication Research (IJK), Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media, Hannover, Germany (5) Touro College, Berlin, Germany
(6) University of Wisonsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
(7) Vrije Universitteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

*Background and Mission

Media psychologists constantly expand the range of domains, themes, and questions that they address in their research. Technological innovations – digitalization, mediatization, and dynamics of convergence in particular – motivate scholars to carry out many empirical studies on users, their processing, their experience, and (co-)production of messages, and related psychological outcomes. It is the mission of peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Media Psychology (JMP) to serve as chronicle of this progress and as archive of the knowledge produced.

However, the strong research dynamics and persist- ing arrival of fresh empirical insights can only lead to a flourishing and effective academic field if theoretical work moves ahead as well. Much empirical work in media psychology is guided by existing general theoretical frameworks (e.g., from social psychology or cognitive psychology); other studies rest on field-specific theoretical approaches (e.g., parasocial interaction, narrative persuasion). But regardless the origin of the theoretical base that media psychologists build on, it is important for the field to accompany the empirical day-to-day research business by a reflection on where a given theoretical approach is standing.

The mission of the special issue that the Editors of JMP will be curating and that will appear in early 2021 is to catalyze such theoretical development by mobilizing authors’ efforts for either formalizing new models or theories in media psychology or for discussing prominent existing theoretical frameworks, their empirical validation, predictive usefulness, and potential needs for revision, extension, or even retirement. To serve the building of a community consensus over the key theoretical resources of the field, these discussions should therefore either focus on consolidation (i.e., review of existing works and debates around a theory or model) or innovation (i.e., propositions of extensions to or modifications of an existing theory or model, or even the development of entirely new conceptual approaches). We thus call for manuscripts that focus on a specific theory or model in media psychology. This theory or model is:

▪ either one that already exists and is “in use” and for which conceptual reviewing and knowledge consolidation or innovation/modification is indicated,

▪ or one that the authors develop as innovative addition to the inventory of theories and models of the field.

Such theoretical progress (through consolidation or innovation) will be most likely to materialize if authors team up who have been working on similar themes in the past but have not (yet) joined their theoretical perspectives. It is our explicit intention to inspire the formation of such new authorship networks, as we

(a)  want to increase the probability of actually new original thinking, and

(b)  want to avoid self-promoting review contributions of single researchers or research groups who essentially summarize and promote their own past (theoretical) work. 

The idea of forming new authorship teams is not mandatory, but strongly recommended in order to achieve effective theoretical consolidation or innovation.

*Manuscript Preparation and Submission

Only theoretical contributions that comply with the mission statement will be considered for this special issue. Authors are kindly asked to submit their manuscripts as Special Issue Articles through JMP’s editorial management system at

However, deviating from normal principles, submissions to this special issue will be subject to a two-stage process. In the first stage, authors are kindly invited to hand in an extended abstract of the theoretical consolidation or innovation project that they intend to complete. These abstracts should summarize and describe the envisioned content of the future full paper, and enable readers to understand the focus of theoretical consolidation or innovation as well as the line of argumentation and architecture of reasoning. An outlook of how the full text will be organized and structured is also a mandatory element of the extended abstract.

These abstracts must not exceed 2,000 words (excluding references).

In order to reduce the risk for authors, selection decisions will be made jointly by the entire team of JMP editors, based on external reviews of these abstracts. Only successful abstract submitters will be requested to hand in full manuscripts in the second stage. For these full submissions, publication in the special issue will be guaranteed, potentially after revision(s) according to editorial feedback and advice.

All manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the journal’s author guidelines for “Theoretical Articles”: psychology/


▪Submission of extended abstracts by April 30, 2020 

▪Invitations to authors of accepted abstracts to submit full papers by June 30, 2020

▪Deadline for the submission of full papers October 31, 2020

The Editor-in-Chief will oversee the entire process of special issue operations and also respond to any author inquiries. Please direct your correspondence to

Christoph Klimmt,
E-mail: (christoph.klimmt /at/
We wish all authors good luck, fun with finding co-authors, and much inspiration for theorizing and writing!

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