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Psychology and Computers

Technology touches or influences virtually every aspect of our lives and it’s no different in the field of psychology. Similar to how technology affects how people behave, think, and work, psychologists employ technology to understand, study and even treat mental illnesses. Technology can also assist psychologists in their research by making it possible for them to collect and analyse data much more quickly and precise than they otherwise be able to. Technology is a crucial part of psychological research and treatment. From using computers to perform imaging with fMRI, to creating electronic tools to track and evaluate symptoms of patients suffering from anxiety or depression.

Technology also affects the way humans interact with the digital systems that they interact with on a regular basis. Some of the most famous technology companies have large departments staffed by psychologists that are experts in human cognition and perception. They conduct research to understand how people react to specific designs and provide recommendations in line with their findings. The majority of the time when you use a piece technology, such as your phone or Facebook you benefit by the collaboration between psychology and computer science.

At Notre Dame, Sidney D’Mello is one of many researchers who are working at the intersection points of computers and psychology. His research is focused on “affective computing,” which is the study that examines the ways computers are able to detect, and interpret emotions. His team, for instance, has developed a mathematical model that could assist computers in predicting when an individual is likely to become anxious or frustrated, so that it can take the appropriate action before the event occurs.

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