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Personal profile

Personal information

Tilo Hartmann is currently Associate Professor and chair of the Department of Communication Science at the VU University Amsterdam. He studied Communication Science and obtained his PhD in 2005 at the University of Music, Drama, and Media Hanover. He has worked at the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Southern California Los Angeles, and communication departments at the University of Erfurt, and University of Zurich. Hartmann pursues two lines of research in which he links media psychology to other fields of Communication Science. A first line of research focuses on users' subjective experience of media, and particularly media-induced illusions (parasocial interaction, social perceptions of video game characters, experiences of presence) and media users' subjective and sometimes biased sense of reality (e.g., hostile-media bias, cyberchondria, online credibility, epistemological processing). A second line of research focuses on users' media entertainment experience and their personal wellbeing. Hartmann has published in major scientific journals of the field (e.g., Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Media Psychology), and several books, including "Media Choice: A theoretical and empirical overview." He served as member of the editorial boards of “Journal of Communication”, “Media Psychology”, “Human Communication Research”, as elected vice-chair of the “Audience and Reception Studies Division” of the German Communication Association DGPuK, as a vice-hair of ECREA's audience and reception studies division, and as secretary of ICA's game studies interest group. Hartmann is also apppointed leader of the topic "Interconnectedness" at the faculty's Institute of Societal Resilience (ISR).


In my own research, I combine communication-scientific and media-psychological expertise to illuminate how media affects users, depending on the way users subjectively process and experience media. More specifically, I try to understand how mediated illusions (including users’ parasocial interaction, virtual violence against seemingly real video game characters, and Presence experiences in Virtual Reality) as well as their biased media perceptions (including cyberchondria and hostile media biases) affect users. Furthermore, as I maintain a background in entertainment research, I am interested in understanding the psychological function and effects of media entertainment, e.g., on psychological well-being and recreation.


  • Problematic and Beneficial Effects of New Media Use (PBMU class, MA)
  • Communication Classics (BA)
  • Media Entertainment (BA)
  • Digital Lives (Preuniversity college)
  • BA/MA/PhD theses supervision
  • Teaching experience includes development, coordination, and teaching of more than 12 different seminar/lecture classes provided at different universities in different countries 
  • BKO (basic teaching qualification) and SKO (advanced teaching qualification) certificate 

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Communication
  • Communication science
  • Media
  • Media psychology
  • Experience
  • Effects
  • Selective exposure
  • Presence
  • Virtual Reality
  • Video games
  • Entertainment
  • Parasocial
  • Hostile media
  • Resilience
  • Reality
  • Perceived realism
  • Illusion
  • Truth
  • Enjoyment
  • Virtual violence
  • Morality
  • Cyberchondria
  • Health anxiety
  • Outbreak communication
  • Conflict
  • Polarization
  • Mass communication
  • Internet
  • Social media
  • self-regulation
  • wellbeing

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2019

The spatial presence experience scale (SPES): A short self-report measure for diverse media settings

Hartmann, T., Wirth, W., Schramm, H., Klimmt, C., Vorderer, P. A., Gysbers, A., Böcking, S., Ravaja, N., Laari, J., Saari, T., Gouveia, F. R. & Sacau, A., 2016, In : Journal of Media Psychology. 28, p. 1-15

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Self Report
Communications Media

Spontaneous hedonic reactions to social media cues

van Koningsbruggen, G. M., Hartmann, T., Eden, A. L. & Veling, H., 2017, In : Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 20, 5, p. 334-340

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

How violent video games communicate violence: A literature review and content analysis of moral disengagement factors

Hartmann, T., Krakowiak, M. & Tsay-Vogel, M., 2014, In : Communication Monographs. 81, 3, p. 310-332

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
computer game
content analysis
human being

The guilty couch potato: The role of negative emotions in reducing recovery through media use

Reinecke, L., Hartmann, T. & Eden, A. L., 2014, In : Journal of Communication. 64, 4, p. 569-589 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The role of health anxiety in online health information search

Hartmann, T. & Baumgartner, S., 2011, In : Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 14, 10, p. 613-618

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
health information

Activities 2016 2016

  • 3 Lecture / Presentation

VR und die Veränderung unserer Wahrnehmung (How VR changes our perception)

T. Hartmann (Speaker)
24 Nov 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional

How to publish a world-class (or at least top-ranked) paper

T. Hartmann (Speaker)
10 Nov 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Phantom phone signals among millennials: Signs of the times?

Jaap W. Ouwerkerk (Speaker), Martin Tanis (Speaker), C.J. Beukeboom (Speaker), T. Hartmann (Speaker), I.E. Vermeulen (Speaker)
5 Feb 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Press / Media

Waarom spelen we zo graag oorlogsgames?

T. Hartmann


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Waarom zijn series zo verslavend?

T. Hartmann


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other


T. Hartmann


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other

Forskere mener krigspill påvirker oss

T. Hartmann


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other