SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC824298
Module Leader Jacqueline McKechnie
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally level 3 Social Psychology or equivalent

Summary of Content

Cyberpsychology can be defned as the study of human behaviour and mental processes in the context of human-technology interacton. The focus of this partcular module is the impact of the internet and virtual environments on the psychology of individuals and groups.


The topics in the syllabus are: introducton to cyberpsychology; emergence of cyberculture; phenomenology of the internet; social psychology of the internet; online group processes and behaviour; social networking and online relatonships; identty and self-presentaton on the internet; computer-mediated communicaton; gender issues in cyberspace; internet addictons; health and clinical issues on the internet; online therapy and support groups; online gaming; elearning; cybercrime and cyberbullying; online research methods and internet ethics.

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 thecontext of the internet (Assessment 2: Online contributions)2. Show critical understanding of the issues surrounding online research methods and ethics in cyberspace (Assessment1: Critical appraisal)3. Demonstrate knowledge and experience relating to digital media and virtual environments, as well as the ability to reflectupon and critically evaluate their use from a psychological perspective (Assessment 2: Online contributions; Assessment3: Learning object creation)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module uses a blended-learning approach, in terms of combining online and face-to-face learning, teaching and assessment. Students are ofered fexibility in their learning through choices relatng to the pace of learning and optons regarding topics and assessments. Independent learning is encouraged and facilitated through structured learning actvites and a supportve environment. Lectures are used to introduce students to a variety of sub-topics relevant to the study of cyberpsychology, to familiarise them with competng theories in the area and direct them to key research. An interactve approach is encouraged in lectures. Discussion of material during and following lectures is facilitated through questons and actvites involving e.g., use of the clickers (electronic response handsets) and online discussion groups. An experiental learning approach is used and students are given opportunites to experience the internet-related phenomena under discussion frst-hand through practcal sessions and online actvites. Students are asked to refect on their experiences in the online discussion groups, which form part of the assessment. A cooperatve learning approach is encouraged on the module. Students engage in small group discussion surrounding the structured evaluaton of a cyberpsychology journal artcle. This is designed to facilitate critcal thinking skills development through peer interacton. Self and peer assessment is also used. There is a formatve peer assessment linked to the critcal appraisal, which is managed through the online system Aropa. In additon, a summative peer assessment is used for the group project involving creaton of reusable learning objects using the Xerte Online Toolkits.

Indicative Reading

Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (Ed.). (2005). The Social Net: Understanding Human Behavior in Cyberspace . New York: Oxford University Press. Barak, A. (2008). Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace: Theory, research, applicatons . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Boellstorf, 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. Gackenbach, J. (Ed.) (2006). Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Transpersonal Implicatons (2nd Ed.). San Diego: Academic Press. 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 communicatons overload . Cambridge: The MIT Press. Markham, A. N. & Baym, N. K. (Eds). (2009). Internet Inquiry: Conversatons about method . London: Sage Publicatons. Norman, K. L. (2008). Cyberpsychology: An Introducton to Human-Computer Interacton . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Papacharissi, Z. (2011). A Networked Self: Identty, community and culture on social network sites . New York: Routledge. Peachey, A. & Childs, M. (Eds). (2011 ). Reinventng Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identty in Virtual Worlds . London: Springer. Power, A. & Kirwan, G. (Eds). (2014). Cyberpsychology and New Media: A thematc reader . London: Psychology Press. Smith, M. A. & Kollock, P. (Eds.) (2005). Communites in Cyberspace (2nd ed). London: Routledge. Trepte, S. & Reinecke, L. (Eds). (2011). Privacy Online : Perspectves on Privacy and Self - Disclosure in the Social Web . London: Springer. Turkle, S. (1997). Life on the Screen: Identty 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. Whity, M. & Carr, A. (2006). Cyberspace Romance: The Psychology of Online Relatonships. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Whity, 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 completon of the module, students should be able to: 1. Demonstrate high-level informaton and digital literacies including critcal thinking skills and the creaton of a reusable learning object. 2. Evidence the ability to work productvely in a group and show efectve oral and writen communicaton skills.

Module Structure

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

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 25.00 n/a Online Contributions x5
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 n/a Critical Appraisal (2000 words)
Coursework 3 n/a 25.00 n/a Learning Object Creation