Dr. Durnell: Media Psychologist

As a media psychologist, I offer analysis on the impact that technology and media have on human behavior, decision making, strategic communications and social change. Working with the newly formed World Health Organization’s (WHO) Roster of Experts, I am involved in strategic approaches to digital health, such as, areas for intervention and governance structures for regulations and adoption of digital health solutions and products.  Additionally, I understand the theoretical basis behind the arguments related to behavioral change, which is necessary to understand the complexities of media and consumer behavior and its use in a global environment.

As adjunct faculty teaching graduate students and training Psychological Operations (PO) operators, I worked with the Department of Defense and Joint Staff to understand the impact media, narratives and rapid real-time prototyping have in the context of disrupting ISIL radicalization. On a global scale, ISIL has been effective in their efforts to recruit young adults from around the world using social media to promote a digital war, using text, visual imagery and video to cultivate a culture of fear and create a strong brand narrative based on powerful psychological principles such as affiliation, meaning, identity and engagement. This showcases how media can be merged with the knowledge of human behavior and emerging technology to promote effective interventions and shape a narrative that has proven to be influential in combating terrorism.

My background is unique given my experience in technology, business, social advocacy and academia. My success can be attributed in part, to my collaboration with researchers, educators, technologists, scientists and key opinion thought leaders to not only understand emerging technologies and the dynamics and complexities of human behavior, but equally to research, educate and explore all possibilities to understand the effects technology can have on human behavior.

Linda Durnell PhD