Psychology and Computers

When you first consider it, psychology and computers may appear to be two completely separate domains. Computer scientists create software and code algorithms that aid people with everyday tasks while psychologists study human behavior and mental wellbeing. However, the reality is that these two disciplines have a lot in common. In fact, some of the most exciting research being done in both fields is involving the fusion of computer science and psychology.

Computer technology has made it easier to conduct research in psychology. For instance FMRI scanners allow psychologists to discover which regions of the brain are stimulated when a particular thought or action is performed. Online questionnaires remove the biases inherent in pen-and-paper surveys.

However, it’s the cooperation between computer scientists and psychologists that has really transformed the interaction we have with technology. One of the most significant moments in this fusion occurred in 1983 with the publication of The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction by three researchers from Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center–Stuart Card, Thomas Moran, and www.rebootdata.net/virtual-data-room-information-that-fulfill-your-business-needs Allen Newell.

It brought studies of the way people use computers into the domain of computer science. This separated psychological methods from their context in humans and forced psychologists to catch up. Psychology branches that already dealt with numerical evaluations, such as psychometricians, found the computer science approach particularly suited to their work.

Today, psychologists and computer scientists are collaborating to create AI that will help us better understand human behavior. For instance psychologists are helping develop the ethical guidelines for the development of algorithms that could help predict the likelihood of a person developing depression by studying their social media use. Psychologists are also using cognitive behavioral therapy to create virtual reality, which could be used to treat anxiety and other disorders.

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