#57: Media, Norms, and Social Change with Sohad Murrar

Opinion Science

Feb 28 2022 • 1 hr 7 mins


Sohad Murrar studies how media and norms affect people's opinions about social groups. Does media representation matter? Can infotainment aimed at reducing misconceptions really work? In this episode, Sohad gives us a glimpse into what the research says, her own experiences consulting with Hollywood creatives, and how conveying social norms can be a potent way of addressing prejudice.

Also at the top of the show, you'll hear about a radio program from the 1930s: "Americans All--Immigrants All." You can listen to most episodes of that show at WNYC's archives. Many of the details about the program and how it responded to anti-immigrant prejudice at the time is thanks to a wonderful book by Susan Herbst: A Troubled Birth: The 1930s and American Public Opinion.

Some of the research Sohad and I talk about includes:

  • Thoughtfully produced infotainment can lead to reduced prejudice in viewers (Murrary & Brauer, 2018)
  • How stories can foster more positive attitudes toward social groups (Murrar & Brauer, 2019)
  • Conveying pro-diversity social norms serves to increase tolerance and inclusion (Murrar, Campbell, & Brauer, 2020)


For a transcript of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/media-norms-social-change-with-sohad-murrar/

Check out my new audio course on Knowable: "The Science of Persuasion."

Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.