Cynthia Scheibe

Professor, Department of Psychology

Cynthia Scheibe

Cynthia Scheibe

Scheibe studies television content and its effects on the beliefs and attitudes of viewers, examining such topics as children's understanding of the difference between "real" and "make-believe," misleading nutritional claims in commercials, name-calling/relational aggression in TV shows for children and teens, and decoding media messages throughout U.S. history in presidential campaigns, war, and the Middle East. She is the director of Project Look Sharp (www.ithaca.edu/looksharp), an initiative providing materials and training to integrate media literacy into the classroom curricula and teach media literacy at all grade levels. Scheibe teaches courses in developmental psychology and media literacy. She has been a consultant to the Children's Television Workshop and was a founding board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education and directs the Center for Research on the Effects of Television, which has a large archive of TV content and studies its effects on viewers.

Research Focus

  • Child Development and the media
  • Can five-year olds be taught to understand persuasive intent in advertising?
  • Children's perceptions of put-downs and derogatory language in children's shows and sitcoms
  • How freshmen college students determine the credibility of websites


Cornell University
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology/ Minors in Experimental Social Psychology and Cognitive Development, 1987
Dissertation: Children's Reasoning about Santa Claus and Other Fantasy Characters

Cornell University
M.P.S., Mass Media Research/ Minor in Education, 1983
Thesis: Character Portrayals and Values in Network TV Commercials

Cornell University
B.S., Human Development & Family Studies, 1976