Dana Mastro

Media Psychology & Intergroup Comm

Contact Phone

(805) 893-5346

Office Location

SSMS 4413
mastro [at] comm.ucsb.edu


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


Dana Mastro is Professor 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 content 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 groups (primarily Latinos) across media platforms and genres.  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 Latinos. In testing these relationships across digital and traditional media contexts, her research incorporates a broad range of quantitative methods and diverse bodies of literature including those rooted in social identity theory and self-categorization theory; stereotyping and discrimination; and other identity based frameworks.

Dr. Mastro’s most recent projects examine: (a) the effects of exposure to racially stereotypical humor on physiological responses, social perceptions, and voting behaviors; (b) the impact of exposure to subtle racial/ethnic linguistic biases in online 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 is a Fellow of the International Communication Association. Her 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

2015-2019: Vice-Chair, 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

Awards & Honors 

2019:   University Distinguished Teaching Award. University of California, Santa Barbara

2019:   Top Paper Award. International Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2018:   Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA). Induction: Prague, Czech Republic

2018:   Top Paper Award. National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2015:   Teaching & Mentoring Award: National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2015:   Top Paper Award. National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2014:   Top Paper Award. International Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2009:   University Excellence in Teaching Award. College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona

2005:   Top Paper Award. National Communication Association, Mass Communication Division

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012. Favorite Professor, Commencement Recognition,  University of Arizona.

2002:   Top Paper Award. National Communication Association, Latina/o Studies Division

2001:   Best Article AwardJournal of Intergroup Relations

2000:   Top Paper Award. Association for Computers and the Social Sciences, Information Technology and the Impact on Everyday Life Division

Select, Recent Publications:

Kroon, A., van der Meer, T., & Mastro, D. (in press). Confirming bias with or without knowing? Controlled and automatic pathways between media effects and selectivity. Communication Research.

Figueroa-Caballero, A. & Mastro, D. (2019). Does watching this make me feel ashamed or angry? An examination of Latino Americans’ responses to immigration coverage. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50, 937-954.

Figueroa-Caballero, A. & Mastro, D. (2019). Examining the effects of news coverage linking undocumented immigrants with criminality: Policy and punitive implications. Communication Monographs, 86, 46-67.

Mastro, D. (2019). Virtual theme collection: Immigrants as minorities in the media. Journalism Mass Communication Quarterly, 96, 31-36. 

Stamps, D. & Mastro, D. (in press). The problem with protests: Emotionally driven effects of race-related news media. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Mastro, D., & Figueroa-Caballero, A. (2018). Measuring extremes: A quantitative content analysis of primetime TV depictions of body type. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62. 320-336. 

Atwell Seate, A., Rong, M., Chien, H., & Mastro, D. (2018). Cultivating intergroup emotions: An intergroup threat theory approach. Mass Communication & Society, 21, 178-197.

Sink, A., Mastro, D., & Dragojevic, M. (2018). Competent or warm? A stereotype content model approach to understanding perceptions of gay television characters. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95, 588-606.

Tukachinsky, R., Mastro, D., & Yarchi, M. (2017). The effect of primetime television ethnic/racial stereotypes on Latino and Black Americans: A longitudinal national level study. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 61, 538-556. 

Mastro, D. & Sink, A. (2017). Phenotypicality Bias on Television? A Quantitative Content Analysis of Primetime TV. In M. Cepeda & D. Casillas (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media. New York: Routledge Press. (pp. 72-87).

Mastro, D. & Sink, A. (2017).  Portrayals of Latinos in the media and the effects of exposure on Latino & non-Latino audiences. In. R. Lind (Ed.), Race and Gender in Electronic Media: Content, Context, CultureNew York: Routledge Press. (pp. 144-160).

Atwell Seate, A. & Mastro, D. (2017). Exposure to immigration in the news: The impact of group-level emotions on intergroup behavior. Communication Research, 44, 817 - 840.

Dragojevic, M., Sink, A., & Mastro, D. (2016, online first). Evidence of linguistic intergroup bias in U.S. print news coverage of immigration. Journal of Language and Social Psychology.

Mastro, D. (2016).  The role of media in the well-being of racial and ethnic groups. In M.B. Oliver & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being: International Perspectives on Theory and Research on Positive Media Effects. New York: Routledge Press. (pp. 409-421).

Dragojevic, M., Mastro, D., Giles, H., & Sink, A. (2016). Silencing nonstandard speakers: A content analysis of accent portrayals on American primetime television. Language in Society, 45, 59-85

Atwell Seate, A. & Mastro, D. (2015). Media’s influence on immigration attitudes: An intergroup threat theory approach. Communication Monographs, 83, 194-213.

Mastro, D. (2015). Why the media’s role in issues of race and ethnicity should be in the spotlight. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 1-16.

Tukachinsky, R., Mastro, D., & Yarchi, M. (2015). Documenting portrayals of race/ethnicity in the media over a 20 year span and their association with national-level racial/ethnic attitudes. Journal of Social Issues, 71, 17-38

Brown, K., Billings, A., Mastro, D., Brown, N. (2015). Changing the image repair equation: Impact of race and gender on sport-related transgressions. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 92, 487-506.