Malleability in Mediated Ideals

Project MIMIc: A project to understand the role of media in boys’ and girls’ lives anno 2020-2025

“Do youth mimic the lifestyles they encounter at their social media walls and in entertainment fiction?” is at the core of the research that the MIMIc team conducts in Belgium, France and Slovenia across 4,500 adolescents. The project is targeted at learning how youth enrich their lives with the affordances offered by the rich digital media landscape they grow up. Moreover, we would like to find out how youth think and feel about being online all the time and processing an unlimited stream of information on how other peers at social media or in popular television shows and movies organize their lives. To build this knowledge, project MIMIc takes up a multi-method design meaning we will (1) look at the social media profiles of youth and the celebrities and influencers who are popular among youth, (2) follow a group of youngsters aged 12 to 16 years old over the course of 1.5 years to see how grow-up in a mediated world and (3) monitor youth to survey them on a day-to-day basis what the daily interactions with social media and popular TV shows mean. READ more about the research in the parents and participants’ section.

Meet the Group



Laura Vandenbosch

Assistant professor at the School for Mass Communication Research


Brent Swinnen

PhD student

International collaborators


Bojana Lobe

Digital media and children (U of Ljubljana, SI)


Caroline Giraudeau

Developmental and aging psychology (U of Tours, FR)



Diary research

01 Jan 2023

Online survey (longitudinal)

01 Jan 2022
Wave 3

Online survey (longitudinal)

01 Sep 2021
Wave 2

Online survey (longitudinal)

01 May 2021
Wave 1 and gathering of screenshots of social media profiles

Online survey (pilot)

01 Feb 2021

Online in-depth interviews (pilot)

01 Dec 2020

Creation R functions to match music chords with lyrics

18 Jun 2020
Luca Carbone created two functions to match words in music lyrics with the corresponding chord, subsequently inserted as part of the R package chorrrds. Part of the music study that explores the influence of songs on individuals’ beliefs about meritocracy, structural inequalities and individual concerns about poverty. You can find a description of the functions and a small example about how to use theme here.

Creation website

10 Feb 2020

Launch ERC project

13 Jan 2020

Academic Output

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The Malleability Narrative in Entertainment and Social Media. Explaining Pathways to Happiness in Media Content.

Media effects research has documented the prevalence of different ideals in media content, and their effects on media users. We …


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
School for Mass Communication Research (SMCR).
Université de Tours, France
Department of Psychology.
Université de Tours, France
Faculty of Social Sciences.