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Researcher explains the way media impacts how we treat each other

Dr. Lissa Behm-Morawitz is the co-director of the University of Missouri Media and Diversity Center. (Gary Grigsby/KRCG 13)

Dr. Lissa Behm-Morawitz has studied communication for years.

She is the co-director of the University of Missouri Media and Diversity Center, and has done extensive research in the areas of new technologies and social identity and analysis of stereotyping content and effects.

When asked about whether media impacts the way people treat each other, she said there is a direct correlation.

"Media in general influences how we act in terms of providing models," she said. "We follow those models in terms of behavior or communication even when we see those models in entertainment contexts."

She said there is a rich history demonstrating that media can affect the way people act.

"Media do impact how we act in our offline lives even when those media models might be fictitious in nature, for example. Representations of bullying in different contexts of media whether that be news, entertainment media, or social media can influence how we act in treating others as well."

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