Introduction to CyberPsychology l Mary Aiken l RCSI Leadership


Welcome to our YouTube channel. If you would like to hear about the one-on-one of CyberPsychology stay tuned for the next couple of
minutes. So what is Cyberpsychology? It’s the study of the impact of emerging technology on human behavior. Now, our primary focus is on internet psychology. But we also look at other technologies for example, we consider virtual environments, networking devices mobile communications. We also study
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and (IA) Intelligence Amplification.
That is the work of Licklider, a favorite of mine. He predated the internet and to a certain extent to the beginning of the computer technology. He wrote a paper called “Man-Computer Symbiosis”. I have posted a link below so check it out. It’s a great read! Specifically my research area centers on Forensic CyberPsychology. Once I say, ‘Forensic’ people say CSI! Well, Forensic Science deals with the physical evidence at the crime scene. Forensic Psychology centers on the behavioural evidence. Forensic CyberPsychology, looks at behavioral evidence manifested in a Cyber context. There is a very interesting principle and it is called Locard’s Exchange Principle and it’s the basic premise of Forensic Science. In terms of the crime scene it dictates that Every Contact Leaves a Trace. Nowhere is this more true than in CyberSpace. Every Contact Leaves a Trace! So, we look at state and trate behaviors in this role. There are a number of landmark areas that are considered for example ‘Online Disinhibition’, the work
of Professor John Suler, who is one of the landmark researchers in CyberPsychology. It dictates that people do things in a virtual context that they would never consider doing in a real-world environment. Also you have anonymity expressed online. You have of ‘Altruism’ which is a positive trait online. Cyber Immersion and Cyber Presence. Barnes talks about the internet privacy paradox and that is particularly relevant regarding youth behavior online. In addition Greenfield, another landmark researche talks about the variable ratio ‘Intermittent Reinforcement’ aspects of technology. What does this mean?
It means that the internet can be like a giant slot machine that there are aspects of it that are
quite compulsive. That brings us to the next area the so-called internet addiction debate and this has been going on for a number
of years. “DSM” which is going to be published very shortly has named this area “Internet Use Disorder”. Young has done a lot of interesting
research in this area. CyberChondria is a very interesting contemporary condition. Effectively,
it is a form of health anxiety wherein severe cases of hypochondria manifested online. And typically, it presents as an obsessive interest in “googling” symptomatology online, and escalating to reviewing morbid content. So, what does that mean? It means somebody with a headache reviewing
content such as migraine then jumping to brain tumor and experiencing anxiety as a result of that. So, what is the future for CyberPsychology. Well, CyberPsychology was considered an emerging discipline but many now consider it to be established discipline within Applied Psychology. There are 30 peer-reviewed journals currently
publishing in subject areas related to CyberPsychology. And over one thousand articles per annum at the moment. So Yean, in the recently published encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior talks about the exponential growth of CyberPsychology. Over the next couple of decades as
internet and cyber environments continue to impact on human behavior. So, just before we wrap up a couple things if you are interested in reading about CyberPsychology this is a very good research journal It is CyberPsychology behavior and
social networking a very good read. Also, from an academic textbook point of view, the Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology is a fantastic resource. And finally if you are interested in theory, research and applications in terms of CyberPsychology, have a look at
Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace. Again, a great read. I hope you enjoyed
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