Psychology and Computers

There are those who view psychology and computer science as two distinct fields with nothing in common. The consensus is that computer science has a very rigorous and quantitative research culture, while psychological studies are rooted in more qualitative research into human behavior and perception.

In fact, the majority of the current computer science is inspired by psychology. Psychologists and computer scientists collaborate to develop technology interfaces. This encompasses everything from car dashboards to cockpits as well as computer operating systems and game controllers. Also, a large portion of psychology research is highly statistical and requires sophisticated software to process large data sets.

Psychologists are also increasingly utilizing technology to broaden their reach. The traditional experimental methods in psychology, which focus on the behavior of a specific person in an environment that is controlled or evaluating larger patterns of behavior using self-report questionnaires or interviews have inherent limitations. (Experiments are typically restricted to a single experiment; longitudinal studies are rare because of the difficulty in collecting and analyzing large amounts of data.)

The use of computer technologies has opened new possibilities for understanding people behaviours. For example the brain-imaging method fMRI could not be achieved without computers. Researchers can connect specific brain regions with cognitive processes like reading or memory. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

The CCBT approach is now recognized by the UK’s National Health Service as an effective treatment for mild-to moderate anxiety and depression. And artificial intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionize the practice of psychotherapy by replacing therapists with robots that can diagnose and treat patients online.

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