Psychology and Computers

Psychology isn’t any different. Technology has an impact on or affects practically every aspect of life today, including psychology. In the same way that technology affects how people behave and think as well as work, psychologists make use of technology to investigate, comprehend, and even treat mental illnesses. Technology also aids psychologists in their research by allowing them to collect and analyze data much faster and more precisely than they would otherwise. From using computers for fMRI imaging to developing electronic symptom evaluation and tracking tools for patients with depression and anxiety technology is an integral part of psychological treatment and research.

Technology also affects the relationship humans have with the digital systems they interact daily. Some of the most famous technology companies around the globe have large departments staffed by psychologists who are experts in perception and cognition of humans. They conduct research to determine how people react to specific designs and give recommendations based on that. In the majority of cases, when you use 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 many researchers working at the meeting point of psychology and computers. His research focuses on «affective computing,» which is the study of the way computers recognize and interpret, emotions. For example, his team has created a model that can allow computers to detect when a user is likely to be frustrated or anxious, and can intervene before it happens.