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Psychology Through Technology

Mind-tech life hacks for the curious.

Source: jiris/Shutterstock
Source: jiris/Shutterstock

The trouble with some psychology blogs is that we psychologists—who author them—sometimes overuse jargon or obscure language that can make psychology challenging to comprehend and apply.

This blog is different. It is:

  • Written in a way that is easy to understand.
  • A source of useful “Life Hacks”—psychological skills you can apply to your everyday life.
  • Food for your curiosity to explore the Mind-Technology interface.

By using the language of technology, we simplify the mental steps used to “upgrade” your life. You’ll also read fascinating case examples (see below) to illustrate how to hack your lifestyle. This blog will also explore stories from the edge of the mind-technology frontier, such as mind-controlled bionics, virtual reality in therapy, software to help you change your behavior, plus other cutting-edge topics from the ever-expanding universe of brain-computer interactions.

But if this blog covers the intersection of mind and technology, why is it in the Self-Help category? Glad you asked.

Introducing Password for Your Mind—mental technology for personal growth!

Password for Your Mind uses familiar tech terminology—such as Passwords, Apps, or Firewalls—to explain the mental steps you’ll follow to apply psychological “Life Hacks” to any situation.

To begin, think of your mind as an information processor, programmed by your genetics and experience. Your “inner software” runs automatically, below your level of awareness. From this perspective, if your mind is like a computer running software, you can debug and reprogram yourself! First, you must access your inner software by using a mental Password. This is a word or phrase you’ll use to unlock your psyche.

Next, you’ll see how to install mental skills we call "Apps" because you can use them anytime, just like an App on a phone or tablet). Read the case example below to see how Passwords combined with Apps let you “hack” and take control of your mind to get it to work better for you.

With this technique, you will debug your software, delete bad habits, and upgrade your life.

The following example illustrates how one person used a mental Password, combined with Apps, to deal with a challenging person:

Source: j.Pickens/Shutterstock
Source: j.Pickens/Shutterstock

Andrew’s boss is a school principal with a bad temper. He often criticized and intimidated Andrew in the workplace. Sometimes, when the boss blew up in anger, Andy took it personally, upsetting him. He did not like the way he reacted to his boss’s angry outbursts. He was fed up, but unsure of how to deal with this. Andrew was tired of getting stressed by his boss’s bad moods, so he came up with a plan: From now on, he’d try to ignore his boss if he was behaving badly, and assist him only when he asked nicely. To help change his pattern, Andrew created a Password. Using a line from one of his favorite movies, he’d say “Go Ahead. Make my day” to himself any time his boss entered his office. If the boss was in an angry mood, Andy’s Password triggered an App prompting him to take a breath, count to 10, and mentally visualize armor protecting him from the bluster. Andy also spoke up and said, “I can’t think when you’re screaming at me.” Before long, Andy got his boss to lighten up at the office!

Anyone can learn to use a mental Password—to become more mindful of automatic reactions, and to keep your goals front and center. In the case above, a Password plus Apps helped Andy manage his response to a toxic person.