Psychology and Computers

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Psychology and computers are interwoven in a variety of ways. Technology has a major impact on how research and treatment is performed. Psychologists are now able to reach a larger population and provide services in more efficient ways. This is particularly important during times of epidemics like the recent outbreak of Covid-19, because digital technology offers patients with the ability to receive treatment via the internet.

Computers have a long history in the study of human psychology, starting with the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and electroencephalogram machines, which allow researchers to capture snapshots of the brain during psychological experiments. Computers also allow to store and analyse huge quantities of data, allowing to make more accurate and replicable studies.

Computer-aided design can also allow researchers to develop sophisticated mental models. These models can be tested to see how they respond in various situations. This is a significant improvement over traditional methods for gathering psychological data, such as self-report questionnaires or interviews. These only capture one aspect of the subject at any given time and require subjects be encouraged to participate.

In the present computers and psychology are inextricably connected. This means that students studying psychology are placed to assist in the development of technology that will shape our future. This is particularly true, because our relationship with technology continues to evolve. New tools for assessing and measuring are constantly being developed. Collaboration between different disciplines is becoming increasingly important both in the development of these software as well as understanding its impact on people. This is evident in our degree program, which comprises the core computing and psychology courses and a range of design-related courses.