Psychology and Computers

Some people view psychology and computer science as distinct fields that have nothing in common. The general consensus is that computer science is a field with strong research culture that is quantitative while psychology is rooted in qualitative studies of human behavior and perception.

In reality, a lot of modern computer science is inspired by psychology. The design of technology interfaces – from car dashboards to plane cockpits as well as computer operating systems to games controllers are mostly brought about by psychologists working closely with computer scientists. Also, a large portion of psychological research is heavily statistical and requires sophisticated software to process large data sets.

Psychologists are also increasingly using technology to expand their reach. While the traditional experimental methods of psychology – examining the behavior of a specific individual in a controlled setting or assessing larger behavioral patterns by means of self-report questionnaires and interviews – are prone to limitations (experiments are limited to a single experiment; longitudinal research is not common because of the difficulties of collecting and analyzing huge amounts of data).

Computer technology has given us new ways to analyze the behavior of people. For example the brain-imaging technology fMRI wouldn’t be possible without computers. Researchers can match specific brain regions to cognitive processes like memory or reading. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

CCBT is now recognized by the UK’s National Health Service as an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Artificial intelligence (AI) is, on the other hand, is set to revolutionize psychotherapy by replacing the therapist and treating patients online with robots.


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