Makana Chock's research is in the area of media psychology. She studies the ways in which people process and respond to persuasive messages in mass media, social media and virtual reality contexts. Much of her research focuses on the relationships between media and perceptions of self and others. She has examined the effects of different types of content as well as different types of formats.
Her research on media content has been used to help design and implement educational campaigns concerning HIV-awareness, drug-use, binge-drinking, food-safety issues and environmental risk campaigns. Chock has also studied the effects of sexual content in media on gender norms, body image and sexual behaviors.
Chock has also examined the ways in which different media formats can influence people’s perceptions of content. In addition to examining the ways in which online features influence audiences, Chock is currently examining the effects of stories on social media sites and in virtual reality and augmented reality contexts.
She has published in such journals as Communication Research, Media Psychology, Computers in Human Behavior, Health Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, the Newspaper Research Journal and the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. She also presents papers regularly and has won top paper awards at the annual conferences of the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
She teaches courses in research methods, communication theory, media and diversity and media and society.
Chock held the Newhouse Endowed Chair of Public Communications from 2013 to 2016. She previously served as the interim director of the media studies master’s degree program. She is the former chair of the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association.
Previously, Chock taught and conducted research at Indiana University and its Institute for Communication Research. She also worked as an audiovisual librarian for the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Hawaii Public Library.