Psychology 309 Special Topics:

CyberPsychology: Psychology in the Age of Computers

Spring 2000, MWF 11:00am- 11:50am, CSS 1410

Insturctor: Kent L Norman (
Office: 3123F BPS


In this course we will explore psychological processes and issues as they are changing and emerging in the brave new world of computers and the Internet.

For years futurists have talked about the radical changes that would occur in the age of computers. They said that we would think and behave differently; our educational systems would be revolutionized; our jobs would be computerized; and our social networks and institutions would be electronic.

Indeed today we are experiencing rapid changes in technology and the retooling of schools, offices, factories, and homes to include or center around personal and not-so-personal computers. Projections in industry are that this is only the beginning.

In this class we will look at the full range of topics normally covered in an introductory course in psychology--but which need to be rewritten in the age of computers. What are the new problems in sensory and perception as they relate to computer screens and virtual environments? How have demands on human learning and memory changed and how can we use the computer to help? What is the impact of email and on-line communities on social processes? How is the human mind coping with new sources of stress in the automated environment? Is CyberTherapy possible?

The course will include lectures, class discussion, and short field trips. Class sessions will be held in the aITs Teaching Theater, a state-of-the-art electronic classroom. All assignments, readings, and exams will be on the Web.

Grades will be based on a midterm (25%), a final exam (25%), individual projects, participation, and homework (25%) and a collaborative class project (25%).

1/31 	The Teaching Theater and HyperCourseware 	MAN 	
2/2 	Introduction to CyberPsychology 		RD1 	Proj1
2/4 	History, Literacy, and Fundamentals 		RD2 	Proj2
2/7 	   (continued) 	 	
2/9 	WWW Browsing for Psychology 			RD3 	Disc1
2/11 	WWW Research in Psychology 			RD4 	Proj3
2/14 	The I/O Interface (Senory/Motor) 		RD5 	Proj4
2/16 	   (continued) 	 	
2/18 	Multimedia Methods and Perception 		RD6 	Proj5
2/21 	   (continued) 	 	
2/23 	Storage and Retrieval (Memory) 			RD7 	Disc2
2/25 	Databases and the Knowledge 	 			Proj6
2/28 	Cognition (Thinking and Problem Solving) 	RD8 	
3/1 	   (continued) 	 					Proj7
3/3 	Artificial Intelligence and Agents 		RD9 	Disc3
3/6 	   (continued) 	 	
3/8 	Software Psychology 				RD10 	Proj8
3/10 	Language (Fortran to Java) 	 	
3/13 	   (continued) 	RD11 	
3/15 	*** Midterm Exam *** 	 	
3/17 	Projects 	 					Proj9
3/20 	*** Spring Break *** 	 	
3/27 	Human/Computer Interaction 			RD12 	Proj10
3/29 	Designing the Interface 	 	
3/31 	HTML 	RD13 	
4/3 	Virtual Worlds / Games 				RD14 	Disc4
4/5 	Digital Worlds / Consciousness 	 			Proj11
4/7 	   (continued) 	 	
4/10 	Social Processes in CyberSpace 			RD15 	
4/12 	Life on the Internet 	 				Disc5
4/14 	Personality, Avatars, and Stuff 	 	
4/17 	Psychological Testing and Measurement 		RD16 	Proj12
4/19 	   (continued) 	 	
4/21 	Virtual Communities and Universities 	 	
4/24 	WebCourseware 					RD17 	Disc6
4/26 	   (continued) 	 	
4/28 	CyberPathology and Psychotherapy 	 	
5/1 	CyberShrink 					RD18 	
5/3 	   (continued) 	 	
5/5 	Global Minds / Class Projects 	 	
5/8 	Local Minds / Class Projects / Future 	 	
5/19 	*** Final Exam *** (8:00 - 10:00 AM)