Makana Chock is the Interim Director and an Associate Professor of Media Studies in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Her research is in the area of media psychology. She studies the ways in which people process and respond to persuasive messages in both mass media and social media contexts. Her research on media content has been used to help design and implement educational campaigns concerning HIV-awareness, drug-use, binge-drinking, food-safety issues and environmental risk campaigns. Chock has also studied the effects of sexual content in media on gender norms, body image and sexual behaviors.
She has been published in such journals as Communication Research, Media Psychology, Computers in Human Behavior, Health Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the Newspaper Research Journal and the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. She also presents papers regularly and has won top paper awards at the annual conferences of the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Chock currently holds the Newhouse Endowed Chair of Public Communications. She is serving as the interim director of the media studies master’s degree program. She is the former chair of the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association and teaches courses in research methods and communications theory. Her interests include the intersection of visual reality and psychology and is currently working on an empathy machine. Her research could be insightful for new technology and how people would possibly respond to it.