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Psychology and Computers

Psychology and Computers

Technology influences or impacts virtually every aspect of modern life and that’s the case in the realm of psychology. In the same way that technology influences how people act, think, and work, psychologists make use of technology to explore, understand and even treat mental illness. The technology also helps psychologists in their research by permitting them to gather and analyze data much more quickly and precisely than they would be capable of. Technology is a crucial part of psychology research and treatment. From using computers for imaging using fMRI, to developing electronic tools to track and evaluate symptoms in patients with depression or anxiety.

Technology also influences the relationship that humans have with the digital systems in which they interact with daily. Some of the most famous technology companies in the world have large departments with psychologists that are experts in human cognition and perception. They conduct studies to determine how people react to certain designs and then provide recommendations in line with their findings. The majority of the time, when you are using a piece technology, like your phone or Facebook you are benefiting from the interaction between psychology and computer science.

At Notre Dame, Sidney D’Mello is one of the researchers working on the intersection the two fields of psychology and computers. His research focuses on “affective computing,” which is the study of how computers can detect and interpret emotions. For instance, his group has developed a model which could allow a computer to detect when a user is about to become angry or anxious, so that it can take action before that occurs.

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