PSY 95 — The Internet and Our Psychological Health: Sanity in a Digitalized Life
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Apr 2—Apr 30
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 15
Instructor(s): Elias Aboujaoude
Apr 2—Apr 30
Most of us spend a great deal of time interacting with internet-related technologies. This screen time can change a person in subtle or even 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 their 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 the internet affects psychology and mental health, and what can be done to mitigate the harmful effects and promote the beneficial ones. As the course unfolds, we will explore how the internet can change our cognition, affecting our attention, memory, reading, and writing. We will also see how over-reliance on social media can come at a high personal cost. We will discuss how to maintain psychological balance in a social media world where privacy—crucial to a healthy psychology—is all but impossible to maintain. Finally, to explore the other side of the coin, we will highlight how internet technologies are offering new ways to treat mental illness and increase access to care (e.g., virtual reality therapy, “brain training,” and AI therapy).
Elias Aboujaoude, Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford School of MedicineElias Aboujaoude is a psychiatrist, researcher, and director of the OCD Clinic at Stanford School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. His books include Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality and Mental Health in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise. His scientific publications and other writings have been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, NPR, CNN, and ABC. 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, First edition