Can I Specialize My Psychological Research in Technology?

Since the dawn of time, new inventions have impacted the lives and the psycho-social development of humans, so it comes as no surprise that in the digital age today, psychology research in technology is expanding along with technological advancements. Much current applied research deals directly with the psychological effects of social media, mobile devices and home automation. In the area of industrial-organizational psychology, technology is studied as it relates to employment. No one in the United States is unaffected by technology, and psychologists, especially research psychologists, work tirelessly to understand exactly what these effects are.

Gaming and Psychology

One of the responsibilities of research psychologists is performing experiments and collecting data to debunk common myths or give scientific explanations to folk wisdom. Did you know that the game of chess was widely considered a destructive waste of time? Research psychologists provide the data that can inform the public of the truth.

Today, chess is accepted as a mental exercise. Chess players are admired by many in our society. Gamers that spend entire weekends playing online games, however, are often viewed in a negative light. In 2013, German researchers completed a project that scientifically debunked stereotypes of online gamers, and there are plenty of potential research projects that still remain to be completed on this topic.

Social Media and Psychology

For the past few years, social media bullying has made headlines. This has led to a number of research projects on social media interactions and the psycho-social effects they have on various populations. Additionally, the social landscape of adolescence has changed remarkably with the advent of social media. Clinicians have to deal with these effects on the individuals they treat, and clinicians, researchers and diagnosticians need to study the influences of social media on as many populations as possible in order to provide insights and treatment options to clients. Longitudinal studies need to be done over many years in order to measure long-term effects of emerging social media platforms on various populations.

Workplace Technology and Psychological Research

Technology has an intimate effect on the workplace. In some occupations, technology threatens jobs that have been held by humans and can now be completed more efficiently by machines. In other occupations, reliance on technology translates into the use of a variety of computer programs in order to keep records or perform other tasks. Industrial-organizational psychologists work to improve employee morale and retention as well as productivity. Often, this involves assessing computer programs and other technology used in the workplace to make sure they offers solutions rather than presenting challenges that decrease an employer’s bottom line.

These are just a few of the ways in which technology interacts with psychology and psychological research today. If you have an interest in understanding human behavior and an affinity for computers, there are many opportunities for you in the field of psychology. Now that you have a better understanding of current psychology research in technology, what types of research would you like to complete to help make the world a better place?