Faculty & Staff
Michael Milburn, PhD
Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Areas of Expertise
Political psychology: political attitudes, the role of emotion in public opinion, and the effects of the mass media on political attitudes and social behavior
PhD, Harvard University
Professional Publications & Contributions
Dr. Milburn's research in political psychology focuses on the determinants of political attitudes, the role of emotion in public opinion, and the effects of the mass media on political attitudes and social behavior. Working in the context of affect displacement theory, i.e., that emotions from childhood can be displaced onto adult political attitudes, his research has demonstrated a relationship between experiences of harsh childhood punishment and support for punitive public policies such as the death penalty and the use of military force. The Politics of Denial, written with Dr. Sheree Conrad, explores the implications of these research findings for public opinion in the United States. His research on the effects of the mass media has established that emotionally arousing, dramatic images in television news stories can decrease viewers' capacity to process and recall the information in the stories. Dr. Milburn, in collaboration with Dr. Sheree Conrad of the UMass/Boston Psychology Department, has also engaged in an extensive study of sexual attitudes and experiences. The results of this research are presented in their newest book, Sexual Intelligence. Prof. Milburn is also an artist and interested in the psychology of the visual arts. He has recently published in this area, and if you want to see some of his art, go www.michaelmilburn.com.
Undergraduate: Social Psychology, Social Attitudes and Public Opinion, Interpersonal and Mass Communication,
Graduate: Analysis of Variance and Multiple Regression, Multivariate Statistics and Causal Modeling.