Psychology and Computers

Some people see psychology and computer science as two distinct fields with very little in common. The general consensus is that computer science is a discipline that has strong research culture that is quantitative while psychology is based on qualitative studies of human behavior and perception.

In fact, much of the current computer science is inspired by psychology. Computer scientists and psychologists collaborate to develop technology interfaces. This encompasses everything from dashboards for cars to cockpits as well as computer operating systems and game controllers. Additionally, a significant portion of psychological research is statistically intensive and requires sophisticated software to process large data sets.

Psychologists are also increasingly utilizing technology to expand their reach. While the traditional experimental methods of psychology – studying the behavior of a specific individual in a controlled environment or assessing larger behavior patterns using self-report questionnaires and interviews are not without limitations (experiments are limited to one experiment, while longitudinal studies are not common because of the difficulty of collecting and analyzing huge amounts of data).

Computer technology has provided new ways of understanding the behavior of individuals. Computers are crucial for the brain-imaging technology known as fMRI. The technology lets researchers connect specific areas of the brain to specific cognitive processes like memory or reading. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

Furthermore it is the case that the UK’s National Health Service now recognizes the CCBT (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy) as an effective treatment for moderate to mild cases of anxiety and depression. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform psychotherapy by replacing therapy professionals with robots that diagnose and treat patients online.

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