The Psychology Cyberspace [online textbook] : LUSENET : Human-Machine Assimilation : One Thread

Suler, J. (May, 1999).

The Psychology of Cyberspace

The psychological study of cyberspace is as broad as the field of psychology itself. Anyone who has taken an introductory psychology course knows how vast that terrain is. Cognitive psychology, personality theory, social psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology - all are relevant. It's never easy slicing up a complex topic into categories. Inevitably, the categories overlap and intertwine. Nevertheless, creating categories is necessary in order to make a study manageable. For this psychology of cyberspace, I've chosen to divide the pie into six slices. The first section is an exploration of what makes cyberspace "psychological." The next three deal with the individual's reaction to cyberspace (a one-person psychology), the relationship between individuals (a two-person psychology), and the interpersonal dynamics among groups of people (a group or community psychology). No psychology of anything would be complete without a discussion of the research methods used - which is the purpose of section five. Finally, section six is the historical origin of this hypertext book. My inspiration to study and write about cyberspace began with the online community called "Palace." My intensive case study there led to a deeper understanding of that particular community, but it also expanded my research outward into a wide variety of topics in the psychology of cyberspace.

-- Scott (, January 28, 2000

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