Psychology and Computers

Some people see computers and psychology as two distinct fields that have little in common. The consensus is that computer science is a discipline that has strong research culture that is quantitative while psychology is rooted in qualitative research of human behavior and perception.

However the majority of modern computer science is inspired by psychological factors. The design of technology interfaces ranging from car dashboards, to airplane cockpits and from operating systems for computers to games controllers – is largely developed by psychologists working closely with computer scientists. A large amount of psychological research requires sophisticated software to process huge data sets.

Psychologists are also increasingly using technology to increase their reach. The traditional methods of research in psychology, which involve examining one aspect of behavior within an environment controlled by a psychologist or assessing broader patterns of behavior through interviews or self-report questionnaires, have inherent limitations. (Experiments are usually limited to a single study and longitudinal studies are not common because of the difficulty of collecting and analyzing large quantities of data.)

Computer technology has opened up new ways to analyze the behavior of individuals. Computers are essential to the brain-imaging technology fMRI. The technology allows researchers to match specific parts of the brain with 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.

Additionally that, the UK’s National Health Service now recognizes the practice of CCBT (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy) as a viable treatment for mild-to-moderate presentations of anxiety and depression. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform psychotherapy by replacing the therapist with robots that are able to evaluate and treat patients online.