PSY 95 — Technology and Psychological Health: Sanity in a Digital Life
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Feb 15—Mar 15
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 17
Instructor(s): Elias Aboujaoude
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
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, cultural observations, and the instructor's clinical experience as a psychiatrist, 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 and sociocultural cost. We will explore cyberbullying, video game addiction, the characteristics of online relationships, the internet's tenuous relationship with democracy, 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 is a psychiatrist, author, and director of the Stanford Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic. 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 also published articles in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Harvard Business Review. He received an MA and an MD from Stanford.
Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stanford
Textbooks for this course:
(Recommended) Elias Aboujaoude, Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality (ISBN 9780393340549)