Miriam Bartsch

Miriam Bartsch

Participant in 2016
Work history - PhD student Media Studies (scholarship) 10.2015 - today
- Research assistant at University of Hamburg, Department of Empirical Communication Studies 10.2014 - 9.2015
- Research assistant at Hamburg Media School, Department of Media Management 04.2014 - 8.2014
- Research assistant at UKE (University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf), Medical Psychology 01.2014 - 04.2014
- Student research assistant at UKE 05.2012 - 12.2013
- Student research assistant at University of Hamburg (in a temporary project), 11.2012 - 12.2012
Study history - PhD Student Media Studies since 2015
- Psychology (major; minor: Media and Communication Studies; concluded with Diplom in 2013)
- Language, Literature and Culture of Northern America Studies from 2005-2006 (for two semesters w/o degree and Psychology as minor)
Publications Bartsch, M., & Dienlin, T. (2016). Control your Facebook: An analysis of online privacy literacy. Computers in Human Behavior, 56, 147-154. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.022

Bartsch, M., Hölig, S., & Hasebrink, U. (2015). Tagesaktuelle Mediennutzung und Informationsverhalten älterer Zielgruppen. Medien & Altern. Zeitschrift für Forschung und Praxis, 7, 9-29.

Bartsch, M., & Subrahmanyam, K. (2015). Technology and Self- Presentation: Impression Management Online. In Rosen, L. D., Cheever, N. A., & Carrier, L. M. (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Psychology, Technology and Society (pp.339-357). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley- Blackwell.

Phd Projects


The Dark Side of Media. Persistent negative experiences with mass media and possible explanations from research on identity. (working title)

Usually, our use of media happens voluntarily in order to fulfill our individual needs or interests – at least that’s what the Uses-and-Gratifications-Approach (U&G) by Katz, Blumer and Gurevitch (1973) proposes. The U&G is the most influent approach in this area of research and according to the U&G people use such media that they have already got positive gratifications from in the past. But experiences as well as research have shown otherwise: not always is media use accompanied by positive outcomes only. Research has even found a correlation of media use and clinical symptoms of addiction and other psychological disorders (e. g., Döring, 2013; Gentile, 2009; Gentile, Coyne, & Bricolo, 2013) - and this is where my dissertation project is located. In my dissertation, I am trying to find theoretical explanations as well as empirical evidence and underlying reasons for permanent patterns of media use that come with negative consequences – so-called ‘persistent negative media experiences’. Identity theoretical theories build the base of my theoretical approach. I emphasize identity as coherent but flexible, as something that is continuously formed during lifetime and also through the contact to other people. That is why our identity is not consistent and correspondingly individual interests and needs are not always unambiguous. Instead, and aside from individual differences (e. g., motivation, involvement, social or psychological needs or personality), our interests and needs are also being formed through social contexts and different social roles in those relevant surroundings – so it also depends on differing social contexts, which behavior is perceived as positive or negative.
I argue that negative outcomes can be explained by our unique identities and our so multifaceted self might be a reason for gratifications of media in the first place but negative consequences eventually.
The first step of my dissertation is to conduct explorative interviews in order to narrow down the term “media” as well as to identify negative experiences. I hopefully will then be able to build a model that explains negative experiences at least partially in theory. In a second empirical step, I will conduct a standardized, more comprehensive survey in order to test this model. Depending on the results of the first step, this study might take place online, or might even be conducted with an app (Experience Sampling Method (ESM)) in order to measure negative experience close to real life and the social context they are emerging in.


Dissertation title The Dark Side of Media

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