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The psychological and social effects of digital technology
Phil Reed D.Phil.
Research induces speculation as to whether the motivations behind real-world and digital factitious disorders differ from one another.
Little is known about Münchausen by Internet or digital factitious disorder. From what we do know, there are similarities and differences between DFD and factitious disorder.
The motivation behind development of the metaverse is unclear, but research evidence suggests likely negative outcomes for mental health.
What is the scientific justification for digital learning systems being used to monitor students’ progress, and what are the likely effects?
Allegations of suppressed information prompted comparisons between social media and tobacco companies, but, even if true, would this tell us anything we did not know already?
Social media behaviour suggests that personality theories, developed for the real world, are now hopelessly anachronistic and based on assumptions that no longer apply.
There does not appear to be much to be said for the long-term prospects of forming a digital main character, and Behaviourist perspectives suggest no good could come of it.
What is main character syndrome, and is it a new concept or something old repackaged for the digital age?
Are levels of chronic pain and internet gaming disorder causally related, or are they both the product of a neurotic personality?
To make communication dependent on a device that does not allow communication to serve its primary function is to change the very nature of communication.
Our understanding of schedule-controlled behaviour is vast, but unjustly ignored in psychology—it has incredibly informed and interesting suggestions about digital behaviour.
Research suggests that the impact of social media on lockdown loneliness is complex, and there are times when social media use will, and will not, help ease this problem.
How might it be possible for you to reduce the amount of e-mail you do, and what does your response to e-mail tell you about your personality?
Are social media companies manipulating mood and behaviour? How is this occurring; how might it be achieved; and what can be done about it?
Research suggests that there is a possibility of "pathological togetherness" developing as a result of exposure to too much social networking.
Despite their relatively high use of social media, students prefer real — not digital — social contact.
Evidence suggests that social media can create collective narcissism. What is the theory behind this, and how can you spot somebody vulnerable to the process?
Collective narcissism is an exaggerated view of a group’s ‘greatness’; it negatively impacts society’s ability to respond to threat. How can you spot it in social media groups?
Do legitimate contexts of protest provide opportunities for some people to engage in disruption for disruption’s sake?
What does current research suggest about why such misinformation is spread, and what can be done to stop it?
Digital communications in the 21st century may produce the same results as verbal communications in the 14th century—our learning mechanisms ensure this will be the case.
As we socially distance, can digital technology positively maintain social contact?
Leaving aside suggestions that online games financially exploit the vulnerable and promote violence, are there any positives in participation?
Research suggests that social media use is associated with anxiety and this anxiety comes in many forms – all of which are problematic for a person's well-being. Understand how social media can fuel anxieties.
Whether "JOMO" helps reduce social media use depends on whether it’s a media fad, an anxiety-driven set of behaviors, or a reassessment of how people want to live their lives.
Does non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation exposure precede physical and psychological symptoms, or are pre-existing psychological issues at play?
What is known about the extent to which EHS affects people, and what symptoms can it produce in our physical and mental states?
Are concerns about psychological impacts of non-ionising radiation from digital devices justified by the scientific evidence?
Does social media increase levels of narcissism? The answer from research conducted in many laboratories is almost certainly yes—but with lots of caveats.
Are technology companies gaining from exploiting the ways in which our learning mechanisms operate?
Phil Reed, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Swansea University.