It is safe to say that the rise of technology has helped most, if not all, professional fields. The discipline of psychology is no exception. More and more psychologists around the world are thankful for how this advancement was able to contribute to their profession – from their educational researches to their consultative jobs.
It’s interesting that the medical devices used by mental health professionals, such as electromagnetic brain stimulation, are not the ones that will make the greatest impact on our wellbeing. It is the everyday inventions that offer the greatest benefit. — Frederick Muench Ph.D.
Listed below are some of the specifics on how technology touched some areas in their field of expertise.
Improvement In Education
Believe it or not, psychologists continuously study and research. Hence, technology became their best friend. The multi-faceted abilities of technology, particularly the internet, were utilized. If they need information which will support their studies, they won’t need to spend the majority of their time at the library, manually searching for books and taking notes. All they have to do is type in the keyword and let the search engines do their work.
At the same time, the internet enabled them to receive the latest breakthroughs and updates in their field. Obtaining all of this real-time information is advantageous since they can immediately apply it in practice. They don’t have to wait for seminars or training which will inform them of these critical changes in their profession. Instead, the only thing they have to do is to browse through the web, and they will be able to read all of these things in one click.
Lastly, technology was able to bring psychology to those people who are interested in learning about this field.
“There has been tremendous growth in online education over the last decade, both in terms of university offerings and student enrollment. According to a study published in 2014 by the Sloan Consortium, approximately 85 percent of schools offer at least some online courses. The U.S. Department of Education reports that in fall 2012 nearly 30 percent of graduate students were taking at least one course online, with more than 20 percent taking all their courses online. This represents an increase of more than one-third in just five years,” shares the APA Commission on Accreditation.
Creating better positive technologies represents a potential way to increase accessibility, affordability, and effectiveness of positive interventions. These efforts could decrease the economic cost of mental health care, increase engagement and well-being in the workplace, and help us overcome what is considered to be a growing mental health crisis. — Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.
Big Data Boosts Certain Branches Of Psychology
Research results are getting more and more accurate these days because of the vast ocean of data brought about by Big Data. Since data from several studies can easily be stored and accessed in a database which can be used to crosscheck, support, and analyze behavioral variables.
Big Data also enabled the field to create new branches, namely neuromarketing and neuroeconomics. These branches start by analyzing the behavior of thousands of individuals and design new technological treatments which are most appropriate for them.
Some psychologists no longer require patients to be physically present to receive their treatment. All they have to do is to secure a stable Internet connection at home and let this be their medium of communication. Professionals recommend these online sessions to clients whose cases are not very serious.
This setup is beneficial in many ways. For one, patients can now eliminate geographical barrier as one of their reasons for not seeking help. With the presence of technology, these consultations and treatments are more accessible for everyone, everywhere. At the same time, this modern way of conducting therapy encourages individuals who are afraid of entering the psychologist’s clinic (of course, due to stereotypes and judgments). At the same time, there are online counseling which allows the client to remain anonymous.
This practice, however, remains controversial. Some experts bash these online consultations since they consider it as non-reliable. For example, there are times that the psychologist will have a hard time reading their patient’s non-verbal language. Hence, this might cause them to overlook important details and generate a wrong diagnosis.
Lastly, they feel that this online barrier will hinder the client from establishing a trusting and genuine relationship with his or her psychologist. If they fail to attain this level of intimacy, the client might have a hard time feeling supported and comfortable in the sessions.
Improvement In Psychology Equipment
The presence of the digital age also enabled psychologists to build specialized equipment quickly. They have the liberty to use computers and other technological devices to be able to produce the best.
To give an example, the National Center for Biotechnology Information of the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a research report which displayed the effectivity of the Galvanic Skin Response (GSR). The GSR is a tool comprised of two electrodes clipped on the fingers of the patient to determine the level of stress this person is undergoing. The device then recommends a particular treatment dedicated to solving the tension of the client.
Nowadays, technological development is still driving changes in the field of psychology. Hopefully, with more and more psychologists getting into the mix of the digital world, more and more breakthroughs will also be born.