Stuart P. Fischoff November 21, 2014

Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D. died in the early morning hours of November 21, 2014. He was a well-known media psychologist in America.

Dr. Fischoff was the founding President of the American Psychological Association’s Media Psychology Division (now called The Society for Media Psychology and Technology) and was responsible for creating the first Media Psychology Lab, co-founding the first Media Psychology journal, starting the first graduate program in Media Psychology, and assisting in developing the first Media Psychology PhD program.

According to Rachel Gordon Fischoff, his wife:

Stuart was born in New York City: he often tussled with the neighborhood toughs who beat on him because he was born Jewish; they learned it was in their best interest to curb that behavior.”

He loved his parents; his sister hated him, he merely disliked her. Stuart did not care for high school and was a lousy student, but he loved going to Penn State, loved getting his Masters and Doctorate at The New School for Social Research and became what he wanted to become: an intellectual who used really big words and pronounced them correctly — which is why I married him. I can’t pronounce anything over two syllables.

Breaking ranks with tweedy, clean-fingernail intellectuals, Stuart liked woodworking and built furniture for our home, he also crafted bird homes, squirrel homes, dining room tables for mice and big, outdoor wood sculptures in the mode of “rustic impulsive,” the name he made-up for his artistic style.

Dr. Fischoff was the Senior Editor of the Journal of Media Psychology (JMP). Founded in 1996, JMP was the first American journal devoted singularly to media psychology. He was an Emeritus Professor of Media Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, where he taught for 33 years. During that time he established the first graduate degree program in Media Psychology and the nation’s first exclusive lab for the study of media psychology.

Fischoff’s areas of research included age differences in favorite movie monsters, scariest films, all-time favorite movies, gender, age, and race differences in film preferences, gender biases in film casting, and films at which people took ethnic offense. He helped found the first doctoral program in media psychology, at the Fielding Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.

In addition to his teaching and research duties at the university, Dr. Fischoff was a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGAw), an award winning screenwriter and a consultant on psychological issues to both the film and television industries. He has written numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of social, clinical, and media psychology and is a Fellow in Division 46 (Media) of the American Psychological Association. He was the Media Psychology division’s founding President.

Dr. Fischoff has appeared on numerous radio and televisions shows world wide and is frequently interviewed for major (and less major) news and entertainment print media.

Instead of flowers and fruit baskets, donations may be made to Stuart’s favorites:

– SIU Department of Theater Undergraduate Scholarship Program

You can make your gift by phone by calling the department directly at 618-453-5741, or you can send your support to the department at the address below. Please make sure to designate the intended fund for your contribution, and make checks payable to the SIU Foundation.

Department of Theater
Mail Code 6608
Southern Illinois University
1100 Lincoln Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901

Or to one of the following:
– Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra
– SIU University Museum
– SIU Global Media Research Center

Leave a Condolence