Cyberpsychology: The connection between human mind and technology


Cyberpsychology, also referred to as internet psychology, digital psychology or web psychology is the field of psychology, which studies the way people use digital or electronic devices like computers, mobile phones, laptop, etc. to interact with others and the emotional impact of that interactions or usage online has on the brain. Cyber comes from the word cybernetics which means the operations of computer control and communications and the term ‘cyberpsychology’ is coined by John Suler. It is a new field in applied psychology and consists of large amount of research and written work.

Cyber psychologists use the field of cyberpsychology to understand the different ways online life affects their patients. It could then help the cyber psychologists to understand the internet and computer related issues and come up with possible effective interventions to help or treat patients. The field of cyberpsychology also includes the study of cyborgs, mobile computing, gaming, robots, virtual reality and the effect of interactions with artificial intelligence (AI) considering future prospects.

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Importance of Cyberpsychology

Researchers such as Bruno Emond and Robert L west described the importance of Cyberpsychology, characterizing it as an independent and defined field from the existing ones. Cyberpsychology helps the Cyber psychologists to study the relationship between humans and the technology and it is an important field due to many reasons. They help in building up and fostering healthy relationships of individuals with the technology. Also, Cyberpsychology helps in understanding the concept of cyber security and contributes in raising awareness about it and other issues related to privacy. Technology not only have negative effects on individuals, but it also helps in growing healthcare industry with the aid of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and other advancements.

Cyberpsychology also influences other fields. For example, Cyberpsychology is interdependent on cyber security regarding human subjects, according to the research made by Scott M Debb.

Effects of social media and the internet studied by cyber psychologists

Today is the time of internet and as everyone knows using the internet and social media has both advantages as well as disadvantages. The main work of cyber psychologists is to conduct research of various disciplines within their fields, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, forensic and computer science. The research is mainly about the internet and use of social media, it’s effects on individual’s mental health.

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Listed below are some of the negative effects of social media and internet, influencing a person’s personality and character:

Negativity and inferiority complex:

Social media lowers the users self esteem as people tends to compare themselves with the people online which they don’t even know about personally, comparing their beauty standards or the happy, joyful life they post about. Decreased self esteem could also results in depression, especially during the teen years.

No such authenticity:

People in social media often fakes their lifestyles, even their personalities and glamourize their own life by showing only positive and brighter side of their lives to the viewers.


People scrolling through the social media more often experiences fear of missing out (FOMO) and fear of being missed (FOBM). So in order to avoid getting FOMO or FOBM, people constantly use social media to post updates related to life and also keeps checking upon other’s life through social media as well. They go to vacation, have fun time and instantly post it on social media to seek validation and to show that they are enjoying their life and having fun.

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Social media addiction:

People nowadays uses internet and social media to such an extent that they are getting addicted to it and can’t even stay away for a moment without checking on new updates by other people and posting about their own. They endlessly seems to scroll when sitting idle and waste their time doing nothing but scrolling mindlessly and liking others posts on social apps. Social media addiction then leads to sleep deprivation as the people rather stay online than taking appropriate amount of sleep.

Deteriorated relationships and social isolation:

Irregular amount of time spent on social media using apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat is found to have an adverse effect on personal relationships according to some surveys. People using social media more than necessary are more likely to face divorce and break ups in their relationships. Skepticism or any kind of doubt among the partners in a relationship results in ending of relationship, sometimes due to misunderstandings. Also, because of virtual connections and new virtual relationships, the authentic social interactions are getting reduced resulting in social isolation of oneself.


Also, cyber bulling, regressive behaviour online, show off, fake personalities, personality disorders, online anxiety, spreading hate and negativity online, cheating by the person behind the screens, online gender changing and negative effects on relationships are some other areas of study took into consideration by cyber psychologists in the field of Cyberpsychology.

Positive aspects of social media as studied by cyber psychologists

It includes building up positive relations. People develop a sense of belongingness and could feel connected to each other online. Online connections makes people feel less depressive and anxious. Also, people using social media feels seen while watching memes, as memes are humorous way of expressing someone’s state or any life experiences. Sometimes people connect with each other by sharing memes and short videos online.

Goals of Cyberpsychology

The three main aspects of Cyberpsychology includes:

  1. How people with the help of technology interact with others.
  2. How people builds or develops technology to meet their own requirements and desires.
  3. How technologies could affect ones behaviour and psychological states.

The main areas of research in the field of Cyberpsychology includes topics of hostility, social media, online dating, health psychology and work psychology, cyber bulling, cyber crime, linguistics, privacy management, impression management, consumer behaviour online and well being.


Cyberpsychology is interested in studying the interaction of human with artificial intelligence. Also, a new research development has been included in internet gaming disorder as a phenomenon.

Various types of Cyber therapy
1. E-therapy:

    In cyberspace, people refer to psychotherapy as cyber therapy or e-therapy. In this type of therapy, individuals interact and communicate with a program named ELIZA, designed by Joseph Weizenbaum, instead of actual humans. ELIZA designed the program to provide simple, human-like responses for answering people’s questions and basic concerns. The responses and answers given by ELIZA seams so real and convincing that people often mistook the program as another common human talking online. Due to its empathy-based responses, the program often elicits emotional attachment from many individuals.

    2. Online counselling:

    Another example of cyber therapy includes online counselling. In online counselling, the client or anyone seeking guidance emails or send messages by chatting online with a therapist.

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    3. Virtual patient:

    Some innovations like Virtual patient, and virtual reality programs help trainees take up stimulated intake sessions and also provides opportunity to make clinical supervisions. In psychology as well as medicine, people widely use this application.

    4. Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy:

    The UK’s national health services prefer computerized cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) to treat mild to moderate cases or presentations of anxiety and depression in individuals.


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