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PSY 95 — Technology and Psychological Health: Sanity in a Digital Life

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Feb 2—Mar 2
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Feb 4
Unit: 1
Tuition: $340
Instructor(s): Elias Aboujaoude
Status: Open
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Feb 2—Mar 2
5 weeks
Drop By
Feb 4
1 Unit
Elias Aboujaoude
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Most of us spend a great deal of time on social media or interacting with internet-related technologies. Screen time can change a person in profound ways. For example, many people behave more impulsively, narcissistically, angrily, or immaturely online. And after spending countless hours “being” that online person, they can find these undesirable characteristics seeping into offline behavior, adversely affecting everyday relationships and transforming society along the way. Drawing on research and cultural observations, this course will explore the range of ways in which internet-related technologies have transformed psychology and mental health. We will discuss how the internet can change cognition, affecting attention, memory, reading, and writing. We will see how over-reliance on social media can come at a high personal cost. We will explore cyberbullying, video game addiction, the characteristics of online relationships, and how to achieve psychological balance in a social media world where privacy—crucial to a healthy psychology—is all but impossible to maintain. Finally, we will highlight how internet-related technologies are making possible new ways to treat mental illness, thereby increasing access to treatment (e.g., video therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual reality therapy to desensitize patients against phobias, “brain training” to protect against memory loss, and artificial intelligence therapy via avatar counselors).

Elias Aboujaoude, Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine

Elias Aboujaoude is a psychiatrist, author, and director of the Stanford OCD Clinic and Anxiety Disorders Section. His books include Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality and Mental Health in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise. He has published articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and The Harvard Business Review. He received an MA and an MD from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Elias Aboujaoude, Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the e-Personality, 1st Ed. (ISBN 978-0393340549)