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Some people see computers and psychology as two distinct fields that have little in common. The most popular view is that computer science has a very rigorous and quantitative research culture while psychology studies are rooted in more qualitative studies of behavior and human perception.

In fact, much of the modern computer science is inspired by psychology. The design of technology interfaces ranging from car dashboards to airplane cockpits, from computer operating systems to games controllers – is mostly created by psychologists who work closely with computer scientists. A lot of psychological research requires sophisticated software for processing large data sets.

Psychologists are increasingly relying on technology to extend their reach. The traditional experimental methods in psychology, which focus on the behavior of a specific person in an environment that is controlled or evaluating broader patterns of behavior through interviews or self-report surveys, have inherent limitations. (Experiments are typically limited to one experiment long-term studies are not often conducted because of the difficulty in collecting and analyzing large quantities of data.)

Computer technology has given us new ways to understand the behavior of individuals. Computers are essential to the brain-imaging technology fMRI. The technology allows researchers to connect specific areas of the brain to specific cognitive processes like reading or memory. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

Furthermore, the UK’s National Health Service now recognizes the practice of CCBT (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy) as an effective treatment for mild-to-moderate presentations of anxiety and depression. Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the other hand, is set to revolutionize psychotherapy by replacing the therapist and treating patients online with robots.