PSYC08019 2016 Cyberpsychology

General Details

Full Title
Transcript Title
N/A %
Subject Area
PSYC - Psychology Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Orla Walsh, John Kane
Programme Membership
SG_WSOCI_H08 201600 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_SoCaSOCI_G07 201600 Bachelor of Arts in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

Cyberpsychology examines the impact of new technology on the developing minds of young people. Smartphones, computers, social networking sites, digital TV and the internet have significantly changed the way we communicate and learn. The module content will focus on the exciting new work in psychology addressing the positive and negative ways that these technological advances impact on the cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic and physical development of young people. For example, it has long been understood that our personalities are greatly shaped by our social interactions. Today, many such interactions occur online. Are there implications therefore for developing personalities? The module explores questions such as these.

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working

Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the process of development in young people and describe factors that influence it. (Domain: 1.23, 5.4)


Identify the ways in which digital media impacts on development. (Domain: 1.23, 5.4)


Identify the ways in which 'passive' (TV, DVD) digital media impacts on development. (Domain: 1.23, 2.17, 5.4)


Compare development in pre and post digital realms.


Evaluate the impact of 'solitary' media use on the user

Teaching and Learning Strategies

2-hour lecture slot per week and 1-hour tutorial 

Module Assessment Strategies

An evaluation of a relevant media article and an Essay

This module assessment allows for assessment of CORU standards of proficiency as follows:  

Critique of a relevant media article: (Domain 2.17, 5.4)

Essay: (Domain 1.23, 5.4)

Repeat Assessments


Indicative Syllabus

The historical context of the psychological impact of technology.

Electronic media and the developing brain.

Social networks and face to face social interaction. Virtual and biological lives.

Emotional development. Mirror neurons. Exposure to violence and sex in the developing mind. Cyberbullying.

Screen use, fast edits, and visual development. Internet sex and violence and Bandura's social learning theory.

Texting and language/cognitive development.

Sedentary lifestyles and physical development.

Digital technology and education.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Critical evaluation of article Continuous Assessment Written Report 50 % Week 6 2,3,5
2 Essay Continuous Assessment Essay 50 % Week 12 1,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2015-10-08 Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S.
ISBN 110198046X ISBN-13 9781101980460

Renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle investigates how a flight from conversation undermines our relationships, creativity, and productivityand why reclaiming face-to-face conversation can help us regain lost ground.

We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection.
Preeminent author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over thirty years. Long an enthusiast for its possibilities, here she investigates a troubling consequence: at work, at home, in politics, and in love, we find ways around conversation, tempted by the possibilities of a text or an email in which we dont have to look, listen, or reveal ourselves.
We develop a taste for what mere connection offers. The dinner table falls silent as children compete with phones for their parents attention. Friends learn strategies to keep conversations going when only a few people are looking up from their phones. At work, we retreat to our screens although it is conversation at the water cooler that increases not only productivity but commitment to work. Online, we only want to share opinions that our followers will agree with a politics that shies away from the real conflicts and solutions of the public square.
The case for conversation begins with the necessary conversations of solitude and self-reflection. They are endangered: these days, always connected, we see loneliness as a problem that technology should solve. Afraid of being alone, we rely on other people to give us a sense of ourselves, and our capacity for empathy and relationship suffers. We see the costs of the flight from conversation everywhere: conversation is the cornerstone for democracy and in business it is good for the bottom line. In the private sphere, it builds empathy, friendship, love, learning, and productivity.
But there is good news: we are resilient. Conversation cures.
Based on five years of research and interviews in homes, schools, and the workplace, Turkle argues that we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most humanand humanizingthing that we do.
The virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology, talk, responds to our modern challenges. We have everything we need to start, we have each other. 

Recommended Reading
2011-07-01 The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember Atlantic
ISBN 1848872275 ISBN-13 9781848872271

In this ground-breaking and compelling book, Nicholas Carr argues that not since Gutenberg invented printing has humanity been exposed to such a mind-altering technology. The Shallows draws on the latest research to show that the Net is literally re-wiring our brains inducing only superficial understanding. As a consequence there are profound changes in the way we live and communicate, remember and socialise - even in our very conception of ourselves. By moving from the depths of thought to the shallows of distraction, the web, it seems, is actually fostering ignorance. The Shallows is not a manifesto for luddites, nor does it seek to turn back the clock. Rather it is a revelatory reminder of how far the Internet has become enmeshed in our daily existence and is affecting the way we think. This landmark book compels us all to look anew at our dependence on this all-pervasive technology.

Recommended Reading
2012-10-02 Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Basic Books
ISBN 0465031463 ISBN-13 9780465031467

Technology has become the architect of our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication. But, as MIT technology and society specialist Sherry Turkle argues, this relentless connection leads to a new solitude. As technology ramps up, our emotional lives ramp down. Alone Together is the result of Turkle's nearly fifteen-year exploration of our lives on the digital terrain. Based on hundreds of interviews, it describes new unsettling relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy, and solitude.

Recommended Reading
2014-09-30 The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World Yale University Press
ISBN 0300209347 ISBN-13 9780300209341

No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeplysome would say totallyinvolved with digital media. Professors Howard Gardner and Katie Davis name todays young people The App Generation, and in this spellbinding book they explore what it means to be app-dependent versus app-enabled and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era.
Gardner and Davis are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, Gardner and Davis conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations.

Recommended Reading
2015-02-24 It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens Yale University Press
ISBN 0300199007 ISBN-13 9780300199000

An essential read, written by a leading expert, for anyone who wants to understand young people's use of social media

Recommended Reading
Mind Change: How Digital Technologies are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains Rider & Co
ISBN 1846044316 ISBN-13 9781846044311

In Mind Change, Susan Greenfield discusses the all-pervading technologies that now surround us, and from which we derive instant information, connected identity, diminished privacy and exceptionally vivid here-and-now experiences. In her view they are creating a new environment, with vast implications, because our minds are physically adapting: being rewired. What could this mean, and how can we harness, rather than be harnessed by, our new technological milieu to create better alternatives and more meaningful lives? Using the very latest research, Mind Change is intended to incite debate as well as yield the way forward. There is no better person to explain the situation in a way we can understand, and to offer new insights on how to improve our mental capacities and well being.

Module Resources

URL Resources Teaching
resources in psychology media
psychology review British psychological society. American
psychological association.