ICT and psychology studies

ICT and psychology studies

 

Idea and programme

Informatics, as a branch of science, is characterised by its ubiquity and diversity of
application. This is why it is becoming more and more interdisciplinary. Fields
overlapping various areas of research are: Computer Supported Collaborative Work,
Human-Computer Interface Design, Affective Computing, Social Informatics. Emotion
recognition, computer- generated, emotionally expressive face design are new
challenges in this area. All of these are linked by their connection to both informatics
and psychology.
Usually, when thinking about psychology, we don’t immediately associate it with
technical novelties in the field of informatics. However, if we look at psychology
through the development of computer technology, we see how much change it has
brought. The changes we are witnessing – among others the development of broadly
understood informatics tools – became a fundamental force in shaping identity,
cognitive processes and emotional and social activities of people. Not only the
frequency of social interactions has changed, their very essence is different too.
Video games can be a great example of that, since they allow for building virtual
relations, often disconnected from social norms and values of the player’s everyday
life. As we look on, the technological development changes focal points for
psychology. Instead of researching physical interactions, psychologists are studying
mediated relations between humans in a virtual world, often involving virtual
characters.
The technological development, on the other hand, fuels changes in the very core of
psychology. It modifies and broadens the scope of tools which can be used by
researchers. Starting with somatic reaction sensors (perspiration, eye movement,
muscle contractions), through scanners providing detailed info about the structure
and reactions of the human brain to tools enabling researchers to monitor behavior –
both in real and internet world.
All of this has changed and continues to influence the way we practice psychology. It
can be seen best in the way psychological research is conducted. The most
spectacular example of informatics influencing the collection and analysis of
psychological data is the area of big data. Over the last couple of years, research
facilities all around the world began creating huge databases, cataloguing human
behavior in a previously unseen level of detail. If used correctly, this data allows for
posing wholly new research questions. Let us imagine a database on taxi rides in
New York (such base actually exists). Is there a set of data better suited for
researching the connection between social class and generosity? Databases allow
for monitoring the influence of environmental and social factors on human behavior
and psychological condition. They should be utilized by psychologists who often do

not have a suitable background to make use of them. Computer sciences, on the
other hand, require a basic knowledge of psychology if they are to be used for
creating a virtual environment such as social media or websites with scientific and
informational contents.
The doctoral studies we’re proposing are a combination of psychology and computer
sciences. They are our answer to the growing demand for interdisciplinary education
and new challenges posed to psychology and computer sciences.

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