Dana Mastro

Media Psychology & Intergroup Comm

Contact Phone

(805) 893-5346

Office Location

SSMS 4413


Media Psychology; Media Effects on Stereotyping, Identity, & Race/Ethnicity; Intergroup Communication; Content Analysis


Dana Mastro is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her B.A. in History from UCLA, her M.A. in Communication-Urban Studies from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in Communication from Michigan State University. Dr. Mastro’s research is aimed at increasing our understanding of media effects processes related to racial/ethnic stereotyping.  To this end, her work investigates the influence of exposure to stereotypical racial/ethnic images in the media on perceptions of self and other as well as on interethnic/racial relations in society. This program of research is evidenced in three primary ways in her work. First, her research documents depictions of racial/ethnic minorities (primarily Latinos) on television and across the broader media landscape.  Next, her work assesses the extent to which exposure to these characterizations influences White consumers’ real-world race-related cognitions, emotions, and behaviors.  Last, her studies explore the degree to which media use impacts on the self-concept and social perceptions of Latino audience members. In testing these relationships, her research incorporates a broad range of quantitative methods (content analysis, experiment, survey, IAT, ECG, EMG) and diverse bodies of literature including those rooted in social identity theory and self-categorization theory; stereotyping and discrimination; and priming.

Dr. Mastro’s most recent projects examine: (a) the effects of exposure to racially stereotypical humor on TV on physiological responses, social perceptions, and voting behaviors; (b) the impact of exposure to subtle racial/ethnic linguistic biases in the news on judgments about Latinos; and (c) the influence of exposure to both positive and negative racial/ethnic media portrayals on audience members’ self-concept, group identity, and esteem.

Professor Mastro’s research can be found in journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Research, Media Psychology, theJournal of Communication and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, as well as in books such as Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research. Her work has been funded by both private and federal granting agencies.  She teaches classes in media theory; mass communication; and media, race/ethnicity, & stereotyping.

Faculty Appointments

2012-present: Professor, Department of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara

2006-2012: Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Communication, University of Arizona

2003-2006: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of Arizona

2000-2003: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Boston College