SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC824234
Module Leader Jane Guiller
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally level 3 Social Psychology or equivalent.

Summary of Content

Cyberpsychology can be defined as the study of human behaviour and mental processes in the context of human-technology interaction. The focus of this particular module is on the psychology of online behaviour, theory and research.


The topics in the syllabus are: introduction to cyberpsychology; phenomenology of the internet; online research methods and ethics; online group processes and behaviour; online relationships and communities; computer-mediated communication; online identity and self-presentation; gender issues in cyberspace; internet addictions; health and clinical issues on the internet; online gaming; psychology of technology-enhanced learning; cybercrime; psychology of virtual reality and psychology of artificial intelligence.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:1. Apply existing and developing knowledge of psychological theory and research to explain human behaviour in the context ofthe internet (Assessment 2: Online contributions)2. Show critical understanding of the issues surrounding online research methods and ethics in cyberspace (Assessment 1:Critical appraisal)3. Demonstrate knowledge and experience relating to digital media and virtual environments, as well as the ability to reflect uponand critically evaluate their use from a psychological perspective (Assessment 2: Online contributions; Assessment 3:Onlinelearning resource)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module uses a range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies and environments, which are appropriate to the mode of delivery (e.g. face-to-face, blended or online learning). Dependent on mode this may include face-to-face interactive lectures, narrated PowerPoints, online learning resources, online discussion and face-to-face practical sessions. Students are offered flexibility in their learning through choices relating to the pace of learning and options regarding topics and assessments. Independent learning is encouraged and facilitated through structured learning activities and a supportive environment. An experiential learning approach is used and students are given as many opportunities as possible to experience the cyberpsychological phenomena first-hand through practical sessions and online activities. Students are asked to reflect on their experiences in the online contributions and link appropriately to psychological theory and research. There is a strong emphasis on teamwork. A collaborative learning approach is encouraged on the module, designed to facilitate critical thinking skills development through peer interaction. Self and peer assessment is also used.

Indicative Reading

Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (Ed.) (2005).The Social Net: Understanding Human Behavior in Cyberspace. New York: Oxford University Press. Attrill, A. (Ed.). (2015). Cyberpsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Attrill, A.& Fullwood, C. (Eds.) (2016). Applied Cyberpsychology: Practical applications of cyberpsychological theory and research. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Barak, A. (2008). Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace: Theory, research, applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Boellstorff, T. (2008). Coming of Age in Second Life. Oxford: Princeton University Press. Boyd, D. (2014). It's Complicated: The social lives of networked teens. London: Yale University Press. Connolly, I., Palmer, M., Barton, H. & Kirwan, G. (Eds.) An Introduction to Cyberpsychology. London: Routledge. Goodfellow, R. & Lea, M. R. (Eds.) (2013). Literacy in the Digital University. London: Routledge. Harper, R. H. R. (2010). Texture: Human expression in the age of communications overload. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Kirwan, G. (2016). An Introduction to Cyberpsychology. London: Routledge. Kirwan, G. & Power, A. (2013). Cybercrime: The psychology of online offenders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Krotoski, A. (2013). Untangling the Web: What the internet is doing to you. London: Guardian Books. Markham, A. N. & Baym, N. K. (Eds.) (2009). Internet Inquiry: Conversations about method. London: Sage Publications. Papacharissi, Z. (2011). A Networked Self: Identity, community and culture on social network sites. New York: Routledge. Peachey, A. & Childs, M. (Eds.) (2011). Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds. London: Springer. Power, A. & Kirwan, G. (Eds.) (2014). Cyberpsychology and New Media: A thematic reader. London: Psychology Press. Smith, M. A. & Kollock, P. (Eds.) (2005). Communities in Cyberspace (2nd edn). London: Routledge. Trepte, S. & Reinecke, L. (Eds.) (2011). Privacy Online: Perspectives on Privacy and Self-Disclosure in the Social Web. London: Springer. Suler, J. R. (2016). Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans become electric. New York: Cambridge University Press. Turkle, S. (1997). Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon and Schuster. Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books. Whitty, M. & Joinson, A. (2009). Truth, Lies and Trust on the Internet. London: Routledge. Key Journals: Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking Computers in Human Behavior Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research in Cyberspace

Transferrable Skills

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to: 1. Demonstrate high-level information and digital literacies including critical thinking skills and the creation of an online learning resource. 2. Evidence the ability to work productively in a team and show effective oral and written communication skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 4.00
Seminars (FT) 4.00
Tutorials (FT) 4.00
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 150.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 n/a 30.00 n/a Online Learning Resource
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 n/a 2000 word critical appraisal
Coursework 2 n/a 30.00 n/a Online contributions (x5)