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I am Reader in Media Psychology. After working for several years as a freelance music journalist for publications such as NME and the Independent, I studied Psychology at the University of Manchester and did a PhD with the University of Bristol looking at children's spelling.

Wondering why there was so little research on the influence of the media on human behaviour, I began to develop the field of media psychology, with particular interest in the meanings that celebrity holds for audiences and for the celebrities themselves (Giles, 2000, 2002; Rockwell & Giles, 2009). Since then I have also explored the framing processes of news media (e.g. Giles & Shaw, 2009) and interaction in online mental health communities (Giles, 2006, 2014; Giles & Newbold, 2011, 2013). I have become increasingly interested in the way that social media have transformed the relationship between celebrities and audiences, and my current work looks at the way these developments challenge many of the assumptions of media and audience research (Giles, in prep).

I have an interest in psychological research methods generally, and I set up the journal Qualitative Research in Psychology (Taylor & Francis) with Brendan Gough and Martin Packer, whose first issue appeared in 2004. More recently I have been involved in an international network exploring the development of qualitative methods for studying online communication (MOOD - Microanalysis Of Online Data). 

I have held lecturing posts at the universities of Bolton, Sheffield Hallam, Coventry and Lancaster, before moving to Winchester in 2007, where I was promoted to Reader in 2009.

Teaching responsibilties:

  • Society and The Individual (module leader, semester 1)
  • Media Psychology (module leader)

Areas of expertise

  • Media influence on human behaviour
  • Media audiences
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Parasocial interaction
  • Online mental health communities
  • Fame and celebrity



  • Giles, D.C. (in prep). Twenty-first century celebrity. Bingley: Emerald.
  • Giles, D.C. (2010). Psychology of the media. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Wood, C., Giles, D.C., & Percy, C. (2009). Doing your undergraduate psychology project. Harlow: Pearson Education.
  • Giles, D.C. (2003). Media psychology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Giles, D.C. (2002). Advanced research methods in psychology. London: Routledge.
  • Giles, D.C. (2000). Illusions of immortality: A psychology of fame and celebrity. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Selected journal articles

  • Giles, D.C. (2017). How do fan and celebrity identities become established on Twitter? A study of ‘social media natives’ and their followers. Celebrity Studies, 8(3), 445-460.

  • Giles, D.C., Stommel, W., & Paulus, T. (2017). The Microanalysis of Online Data: The next stage (introduction to special section), Journal of Pragmatics, 115, 37-41.

  • Giles, D.C. (2016). Observing real-world groups in the virtual field: The analysis of online discussion. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(3), 484-498. doi:10.1111/bjso.12139

  • Giles, D.C., Stommel, W., Paulus, T., Lester, J., & Reed, D. (2015). The microanalysis of online data: the methodological development of ‘digital CA’. Discourse, Context and Media, 7, 45-51.
  • Giles, D.C. (2015). Field migration, cultural mobility and celebrity: the case of Paul McCartney. Celebrity Studies, 6(4), 538-552.
  • Giles, D.C. (2014). DSM-V is taking away our identity: the reaction of the online community to the proposed changes in the diagnosis of Asperger’s Disorder. Health 18(2), 179-195.
  • Giles, D.C., & Newbold, J. (2013). ‘Is this normal?’ The role of category predicates in constructing mental illness online. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 18(4), 476-490.
  • Giles, D.C. (2013). Animal celebrities. Celebrity Studies, 4(2), 115-128.
  • Giles, D.C. (2013). The extended self strikes back: Morrissey fans’ reaction to public rejection by their idol. Popular Communication, 11, 116-129.
  • Giles, D.C., & Newbold, J. (2011). Self- and other-diagnosis in user-led online mental health communities. Qualitative Health Research 21(3), 419-28.
  • Shaw, R.L., Giles, D.C., & Whitehead, C. (2010). "Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people? Health, Risk and Society 12, 575-89.
  • Giles, D.C., Shaw, R.L., & Morgan, W. (2009). Representations of voluntary childlessness in the UK press, 1990-2008. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 1218-28.
  • Rockwell, D., & Giles, D.C. (2009). Being-in-the-world of celebrity: the phenomenology of fame. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 40, 178-210.
  • Giles, D.C., & Shaw, R.L. (2009). The psychology of news influence and the development of Media Framing Analysis. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 3/4, 375-93.
  • Shaw, R.L., & Giles, D.C. (2009). Motherhood on ice? A media framing analysis of older mothers in the UK news. Psychology & Health, 24, 221-36.
  • Maltby, J., Day, L., Giles, D.C., Gillett, R., Quick, M., Langcaster-James, H., & Linley, A.P. (2008). Implicit theories of a desire for fame. British Journal of Psychology, 99, 279-92.
  • Giles, D.C., & Close, J. (2008). Exposure to ‘lad magazines’ and drive for muscularity in dating and non-dating young men. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1610-16.
  • Giles, D.C., Pietrzykowski, S., & Clark, K.E. (2007). The psychological meaning of personal record collections and the impact of changing technological forms. Journal of Economic Psychology, 28, 429-43.
  • Brotsky, S.R., & Giles, D.C. (2007). Inside the pro-ana community: a covert online participant observation. Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 19, 93-109.
  • Giles, D.C. (2006). Constructing identities in cyberspace: the case of eating disorders. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 463-477.
  • Maltby, J., Giles, D.C., Barber, L. & McCutcheon, L.E. (2005). Intense-personal celebrity worship and body image: evidence of a link among female adolescents. British Journal of Health Psychology, 10, 17-32.
  • Giles, D.C. & Maltby, J. (2004). The role of media in adolescent development: relations between autonomy, attachment, and interest in celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 813-22.
  • Giles, D.C. (2003). Narratives of obesity as presented in the context of a television talk show. Journal of Health Psychology, 8, 317-26.
  • Giles, D.C. (2002). Keeping the public in their place: audience participation in lifestyle television programming. Discourse & Society, 13, 603-28.
  • Giles, D.C. (2002). Parasocial interaction: A review of the literature and a model for future research. Media Psychology, 4, 279-302.
  • Giles, D.C. (1999). Retrospective accounts of drunken behaviour: implications for theories of self, memory and the discursive construction of identity. Discourse Studies, 1, 387-403.
  • Giles, D.C. & Terrell, C.D. (1997). Visual sequential memory and spelling. Educational Psychology 17, 245-54.

Book chapters

  • Giles, D.C. (2017). Online discussion forums: A rich and vibrant source of data. In V.Braun, V. Clarke & D. Gray (Eds.) Collecting qualitative data: A practical guide to textual, media and virtual techniques (pp. 189-210). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Giles, D.C. (2017). The immortalisation of celebrities. In M.H. Jacobsen (Ed). Postmortal society: Multidisciplinary perspectives on death, survivalism and immortality in contemporary culture (pp. 97-113). Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Giles, D.C. (2016). Does ana = anorexia? Online interaction and the construction of new discursive objects. In M. O’Reilly & J. Lester (Eds). The Palgrave Handbook of Adult Mental Health: Discourse and Conversation Studies (pp. 308-328). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

  • Giles, D.C. (2015). Red flags: The social construction of a symptom. In M. O’Reilly & J. Lester (Eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Discourse and Child Mental Health (pp. 217-232). Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Giles, D.C. (2012). Parasocial relationships: Current directions in theory and method. In Bilandzic, H., Patriarche, G., & Traudt, P.J. (Eds) The social use of media: Cultural and social scientific perspectives on audience research (pp. 161-176). Bristol: Intellect.
  • Giles, D.C. (2012; in press). Parasocial relationships: Current directions in theory and method. In Bilandzic, H., Patriarche, G., & Traudt, P.J. (Eds). The social use of media: Cultural and social scientific perspectives on audience research (pp 161-76). Bristol: Intellect.
  • Giles, D.C. (2010). Parasocial relationships. In J. Eder, F. Jannidis & R. Schneider (Eds) Characters in fictional worlds: understanding imaginary beings in literature, film, and other media (pp 442-58). Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Rockwell, D., & Giles, D.C. (2008). Ready for the close-up: Celebrity experience and the phenomenology of fame. In: K.R. Hart, (Ed.) Film and Television Stardom (pp 324-41). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
  • Maltby, J., & Giles, D.C. (2008). Toward the measurement and profiling of celebrity worship. In: J.R. Meloy, L. Sheridan & J. Hoffman (Eds), Stalking, threatening, and attacking public figures (pp 271-86). New York: Oxford University Press.

Recent conference presentations

  • Giles, D.C. (2017, February). Celebrities, audiences, fans: To what extent do social media dissolve the boundaries? Invited keynote at 17th International VAKKI Symposium, University of Vaasa, Finland
  • Giles, D.C. (2016, November). Fans or followers? The changing relationships between celebrities, artists and audiences. Individual paper to be presented at the 6th ECREA European Communication Conference, Prague Congress Centre.
  • Giles, D.C. (2016, November). Analysing online discussion forums. Invited presentation at the workshop ‘Collecting Qualitative Data: Beyond the face-to-face interview’, University of the West of England.
  • Giles, D.C. (2016, June). Social media and the audience-celebrity relationship. Invited keynote at the 3rd biennial conference of the Celebrity Studies journal, University of Amsterdam.
  • Giles, D.C. (2016, June). Cultural fields, media and celebrities: Boundary crossings and legitimation. Invited keynote at Celebrity, Prestige and the Cultural Field workshop, University of Portsmouth.
  • Giles, D.C. (2015, February). Parasocial relationships in the age of Twitter. Keynote speech, Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2015 (annual conference of Flemish/Dutch communication science scholars), University of Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Giles, D.C. (2014, September). Autism, diagnostic categories and demonic possession. Paper presented at the Fifth International Conference in Qualitative Research on Mental Health, (QRMH5). Chania, Crete.
  • Giles, D.C. (2014, July). The vexed questions of violation and vulnerability: The problems and paradoxes of ‘privacy’, and the terror of Tweets, traceability, and truth claims. Keynote speech, MOOD-Y (Microanalysis of Online Data at York) workshop, University of York.
  • Maleckar, B., Giles, D.C., & Zawisza, M. (2014, May). Narrative persuasion as a mechanism of framing effects: The mediating role of engagement with characters in crime news. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, Seattle.
  • Giles, D.C. (2013, March). Celebrity transgressions: The cases of Paul McCartney and Jonny Greenwood. Paper presented at ‘Celebrity: Critical Issues’ interdisciplinary-net.com conference, Real Palacio Hotel, Lisbon.
  • Malečkar, B., Giles, D.,& Zawisza, M. (2013, March). Lost in a news story: The role of character engagement in persuasion through news narratives. Poster presentation at the Lost in Story Worlds Symposium held at the Utrecht University, Netherlands.
  • Giles, D.C. (2013, January). Analysing online data. Opening presentation at the inaugural meeting of the Microanalysis Of Online Data research network, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Giles, D. & Maleckar, B. (2012, September). The role of character in framing analysis. Paper presented at the event ‘Caught in the frame: Frame analysis as contemporary media scholarship’ organised by the Media Study Group of the British Sociological Association, University of Leicester, UK.
  • Malečkar, B., Giles, D.,& Zawisza, M. (2012, June). Entertainment in the function of meaning transmission: A novel theoretical approach to narrative persuasion. Paper presented at the StoryNet workshop held at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), Netherlands.
  • Giles, D.C. (2012, April). Qualitative psychological research online: Methodological advances. Panel convenor, Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Connaught Rooms, London. Individual contribution: ‘Flies on the wall or delimited texts? The psychological validity of online data’.
  • Giles, D.C. (2012, March). The online discussion thread as a discrete object of discourse analytic study. Paper presented at Discourse-Communication-Conversation conference, University of Loughborough.
  • Giles, D.C. (October 2010). Parasocial and human relationships: Testing a six-type model of media figures. Paper presented at ECREA 3rd European Communication Conference, University of Hamburg.
  • Giles, D.C. (September 2009). The use of media framing analysis to explore representations of voluntary childlessness. Paper presented as part of the symposium ‘Health, Gender and Sexuality: Showcasing methodological diversity’ at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Health Psychology, Aston University.
  • Giles, D.C. (November 2008). Parasocial interaction: current directions in theory and method. Paper presented as part of the symposium ‘With stars in their eyes: Investigating star-audience relations’, ECREA 2nd European Communication Conference, Barcelona.
  • Giles, D.C., & Shaw, R.L. (September 2008). Character-based analysis: A method for studying framing processes in news media. Paper presented at the inaugural conference of the BPS section Qualitative Methods in Psychology, University of Leeds.
  • Giles, D.C., & Close, J. (August 2007). 'Lad magazine' use, drive for muscularity and dating. Paper presented at the annual conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
  • Shaw, R.L., & Giles, D.C. (August 2007). A media framing analysis of representations of ageing motherhood. Paper presented at the annual conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
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