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What Is Cyberpsychology? 3 Things To Know About This Important Field of Study


Cyberpsychology examines how cybertechnologies influence the spectrum of human behavior.

Because this field of study, like most other psychological science subjects, is rich and robust, this post aims to summarize three key points you should know if you're trying to better understand what cyberpsychology is and why it matters in today's cybertechnical world.

Diving right in, here we go!

1. Rooted in psychological science

Psychological knowledge (as it pertains to our brain, behavior, social, and/or mental processes) is gleaned through systematic application of the scientific method

Cyberpsychology, then, is the study of how our brain, behavior, social, and/or mental processes are impacted by our enmeshments and interactions with a wide range of cybertechnologies.

2. Real-world implications

Internet users around the world are projected to reach nearly 6 billion by 2023; and nearly 7 billion by 2030. These numbers reflect close to 75% of the globe's population online.

And with no connectivity slow down trends in immediate sight, these stunning levels of online activity support the notion that our species is actively wired.

Such interconnectedness has far-reaching cognitive implications as our minds, our emotions, and our physical bodies are in a state of constant interaction with cybertechnological devices.

It is in this very space, betwixt humans and computing machines, where a cyberpsychologist (like me) adds value and insight. We not only seek to improve our relationships with computing machines but also to examine how our cybertechnological enmeshments influence the way we think and feel.

3. Redefining machines, intelligence & what it means to be human

The rise, speed, and spread of computing machines across all facets of every day life have made us rethink, to some degree, what it means to be human; because as cybertechnolgies (driven more and more by AI) get "smarter" and become more "emotive," the lines between what is machine and what is human become far more blurred.

Yet when working with computers, the general public doesn't want to have to philosophize about such hard hitting subjects and questions. Instead, they simply want to log on, get something done, learn something, research, design, contribute, think, and otherwise be productive or social, either on their own or with other individuals.

So then if not the general public, then *who* will ponder through the hefty challenges and eroding boundaries computing machines and human beings face at the crux of their interactions?

That's where cyberpsychologists (like me) come in. We probe and seek to understand the profound, philosophical questions our relationships with machines present. 

Philosophical, in large part, because "computers are thinking machines." They've also become objects "to think with" because they "evoke rather than determine our thinking" (observations derived from Sherry Turkle's book, The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit).

In conclusion

These important dynamics deserve exploration and steadfast scrutiny to help preserve and protect human-centeredness and well-being in the face of continuously blurred lines between machines and our extraordinary species.

Additional resources

Use these additional resources to delve much further into this deep and important subject especially relevant for today's wired world: