Internet psychologists study how the Web affects us

​In a pretty short period of time, the internet has changed how we take care of our basic needs, stand up for ourselves, and talk to each other. But psychologists are still debating how much this rapid change has changed us in return. Enter the internet psychologist, who is working to understand our psychological relationship with the web to serve science — and help companies that want you to buy and use more services online. Alexandra Ossola explains:

“A number of psychologists and neuroscientists are conducting research on the internet and the brain in academic institutions. Some of the big topics are ones you’ve been hearing about for years, including how the internet use affects attention spans and different personality types. At Cornell, [professor of communication and information science Jeff] Hancock is working on understanding how people interpret algorithms, like the ones that generate that those “trending” stories on Twitter and Facebook. Their work is often scientifically sound in comparison to some non-academic studies, Jones added, which sometimes lack enough participants or even a control group.”

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