The Role of Computers in Psychology
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Computers and Technology In Psychology

Computers havenít been around very long, yet they have become almost a necessity in todayís world. People are now using computers to shop, communicate, and learn - to name a few applications.

Technology is making the whole world come together. People are even using computers in their business transactions. There are those who have formed a close relationship with computers in their respective fields, such as mine, psychology.


PAST

The field of psychology mostly deals with research. A psychologist has the opportunity to take all of the questions about humankind, and the like, on their shoulders. They have the ability to answer the most important questions about humankind, all through research. A researcher used to come up with a research idea, carry out the research and then get it published in a journal. Anyone who was interested in a similar study had to first find out in card catalogs, and things of that nature, if such research even existed. They then had to find the actual journal and look up their information. If the library they went to did not have that particular journal with the information requested, the person then had to go all over the place to try and find it. That all ceased with the dawn of computers.

The computer has made the whole research process easier. For students like myself it would have been very hard to type up a paper with no resources. Finding the proper resources the old way was usually a drawn out and pointless process. With computers a researcher can have their work placed onto the Internet for the entire world to see. The information is accessible for those who need it to conduct their own research, and for those who are simply curious. I can not imagine not having a system of this sort. It has allowed researchers all over the world to come together and refine their work, thus improving the entire psychological field.

PRESENT

The development of research today is actually tied in with computers. They are not just used to transfer the information but to actually conduct the research. Researchers have limited tools around them. The Internet provides them with all new choices. Before now, if a researcher in France wanted to conduct an experiment he would have had to deal with the population samples around him and modify his research to fit that region. If he wanted to do research on the lives of those who live in Harlem, for example, he would have had to make many flights, or many expensive phone calls, in order obtain his information. In the present day, things have changed a bit. The researcher can e-mail the information to a colleague in the U.S. and get his information that way. He may also go onto the Internet and try to find people from the correct area that fit the profile that he is looking for. There are problems with this of course, such as the questioning of the validity of the sample population, but that can be avoided if the researcher conducts research that does not require any extreme sample demands.


The aspect of all this new information if like opening a never-ending can of worms. The questions are able to just keep on coming out. The aspect of the Internet alone has given us more research questions than was ever possible before. For example, a researcher could take a web page, and others like it, and conduct research, such as why do all sports pages look alike? Do the creators feel the need to make them look this one way in order for it to be correct? More intricate questions than that can be and have been developed. It may seem like an incredible burden, it may seem crazy, but to a psychologist it is pure heaven.

FUTURE

I do not know what the future has in store. I do not even want to try and guess what will happen next. One thing I know I donít have to worry about is the use of computers in psychology. It has brought us this far, and I can confidently say that it wonít stop now. There are so many new questions that it has opened up for us that I canít imagine that there are any more. We have more than we can handle as it is. Perhaps that will be the new advancement. Perhaps computers will come up with a way for us to have better knowledge so that we might catch up with all of the questions pondering humanity; but hopefully not too fast...we might get bored.

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