Psychology and Computers


Some people view psychology and computer science as distinct fields with nothing in common. The prevailing view is that computer science is an extremely rigorous and quantitative research culture while psychology studies are rooted in more qualitative studies of behavior and human perception.

In reality the majority of modern computer science is inspired by psychological factors. Psychologists and computer scientists collaborate to develop technology interfaces. This covers everything from dashboards for cars to cockpits computers operating systems, and even game controllers. Also, a large portion of psychological research is statistically intensive and requires sophisticated software to process huge data sets.

Psychologists are increasingly relying on technology to broaden their reach. The traditional methods of experimentation in psychology, which focus on one aspect of behavior within an environment that is controlled or evaluating larger patterns of behavior using self-report questionnaires or interviews have inherent limitations. (Experiments are usually limited to a single experiment while longitudinal studies are uncommon because of the difficulty of collecting and analyzing large amounts of data.)

Computer technologies have opened up new avenues to study the behavior of individuals. For example the brain-imaging method fMRI is not possible without computers. Researchers can connect specific brain regions with 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 moderate to mild depression and anxiety. And artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the practice of psychotherapy by replacing the therapist with robots that are able to evaluate and treat patients online.