How Is Technology Changing Psychology?

Cultures, and the overall psycho-social development of human beings, have always been influenced by scientific breakthroughs, and throughout its relatively brief history, there have been many changes to psychology because of technology. In fact, in psychology, the changes related to technology are certain to be constant. Psychologists in every specialization have been affected by technology, and the digital age has brought on cultural changes worldwide that will continue to affect practices within this in psychology

A Smaller Digital World

The evolution of the internet and the availability of information today has heavily influenced humans all over the world. New words and phrases as well as new meanings to established phrases have entered the English language at an alarmingly high rate over the past 20 years. As larger populations are exposed to the speech, culture and activities that were once only experienced by small, isolated groups, psychologists are faced with a rapidly changing understanding of normality. Social psychologists are scrambling to keep up.

Additionally, cross-cultural psychology is beginning to open more widely. The growing awareness of other cultures, that comes hand-in-hand with internet usage and social media interactions, has brought some cultures to new awareness of psychological disorders that they hadn’t previously recognized. For example, certain Asian cultures have not recognized or addressed depression until the past decade because they embrace sadness in different ways.

As technology continues to topple boundaries and expand the world, cross-cultural psychologists need to make sure that knowledge leads to progress rather than fear. Some cultures don’t recognize certain behaviors as problematic because those behaviors do not pose problems within one culture they way they do in other cultures. These issues will keep researchers busy for years as they work on finding the best way to provide psychiatric care to people living in a increasingly smaller world.

The Problem with Social Media

As social media platforms expand and change, their effects on the human psyche have the potential to change also. Recent headlines have highlighted the increase in bullying through and psychological dependencies on social media. Issues related to mood and social media interactions have also been studied in recent years.  This is providing many research opportunities, as well as opportunities for clinicians and researchers to collaborate in finding potential new therapies linked to social media and other technologies.

A changing world brings changes to the ways humans interact. Psychology, the study of human thought and behavior, is directly affected by technological advances, especially those that significantly change people’s lives. Many journal articles are produced each month about the effects of technology on the practice of psychology. Other articles are published with regularity that explore technology and human behavior itself. These are exciting times for researchers, clinicians, cross-cultural psychologists and others interested in the interaction between human behavior and technology. Now that you have begun to understand a few of the changes to psychology because of technology, what part will you play in the development of modern psychology and psychological theory?

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