SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHC825310
Module Leader Jacqueline McKechnie
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 is the study of human behaviour and mental processes in the context of our interactions with technology, e.g. the internet, smartphones and virtual reality. This blended learning module considers the positive and negative effects of living in the digital age on our identities, relationships, behaviour and wellbeing. It will cover psychological theory and research to aid understanding of human-technology interactions, with a strong emphasis on applying this knowledge to understand our everyday behaviour and current real world issues emerging from our increasing reliance on technology. This module will use a combination of online and face-to face learning and assessment to provide students with practical experience of technology, allowing first-hand experience with cyberpsychological phenomena and development of digital capabilities. There is a strong focus on developing students' understanding of how our interactions with technology affect our online and offline lives through reflective blogs. The module also emphasises the importance of communicating ideas to audiences who wish to understand digital behaviour and have an online presence.


The topics to be covered on this module are: understanding everyday digital behaviour, social media use, self and identity online, psychology of individuals and groups online, online relationships and communities, online research methods and ethics, digital health and wellbeing, cybercrime, psychology of virtual reality, psychology of artificial intelligence and digital learning.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, should should be able to:1. Apply cyberpsychology theory and research to explain human behaviour in real world contexts (Assessments 1and 2).2. Critically evaluate research and theory regarding the positive and negative effects of technology on individuals andgroups (Assessments 1 & 2).3. Formulate convincing arguments around current issues, problems and debates regarding human behaviour in thedigital age (Assessments 1 & 2).4. Critically reflect on experiences with technology and digital identity and wellbeing through blog creation(Assessment 1).5. Communicate ideas effectively through a presentation (Assessment 2).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Core cybersychological knowledge, theory and research are communicated through a combination of interactive faceto-face lectures and online learning resources. Opportunities to develop understanding of real world application and current issues and debate are provided through face-to-face and online seminars and lab-based practical sessions. Independent learning will be facilitated through asking students to reflect on the questions and issues raised and engage in relevant reading and activities. Reflections will be shared in an individual online coursework, which forms the first assessment component. Students will also work in groups for peer support, collaborative learning and formative assessment. Flexibility is offered in relation to pace of learning and topic choices. Experiential learning is used and students are engaged in practical sessions and activities using technology such as virtual reality and various digital platforms to experience phenomena first hand, reflect upon and share these experiences in the blogsand link to the research literature. Critical thinking skills development is encouraged through peer interaction and opportunities for discussion and collaboration. Formative assessment is also used to facilitate student learning.

Indicative Reading

Aiken, M. (2016). The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online. London: John Murray. Amaichi-Hamburger, Y. (Ed.). (2013). The Social Net: Understanding our online behavior (2nd ed.). 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 cyberpsychology theory and research. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Bauman, S. (Ed.)(2013). Cybercultures: Cultures in cyberspace communities. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. Boyd, D. (2014). It s Complicated: The social lives of networked teens. New York: Yale University Press. Connolly, I., Palmer, M., & Kirwan, G. (Eds.). (2016). An Introduction to Cyberpsychology. London: Routledge. Glassman, M. (2016). Educational Psychology and the Internet. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hadlington, L. (2017). Cybercognition. London: Sage Publications Ltd. Kirwan, G. & Power, A. (2013). Cybercrime: The psychology of online offenders. London: Cambridge. Krotoski, A. (2013). Untangling the Web. London: Guardian Books/Faber & Faber. Parsons, T. D. (2017). Cyberpsychology and The Brain: The interaction of neuroscience and affective computing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 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. Suler, J. (2015). 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. Wallace, P. (2015). The Psychology of the Internet (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press. Whitty, M. & Carr, A. (2006). Cyberspace Romance: The Psychology of Online Relationships. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Whitty, M. & Joinson, A. (2009). Truth, Lies and Trust on the Internet. London: Routledge. Whitty, M. & Young, G. (2013). Cyberpsychology: The study of individuals, society and digital technologies. London: Wiley. Key Journals Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking Computers in Human Behavior Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research

Transferrable Skills

Successful completion of this module should develop the following knowledge and skills: Generic skills Critically identify, define and analyse key theoretical concepts and apply to real life contexts Ability to offer professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to current problems and issues Communicate effectively through oral and written communications Work productively in groups and give constructive peer feedback Employability skills An understanding of human interaction with digital technologies Digital capabilities ICT proficiency, digital creation and communication, information and media literacy, digital identity and wellbeing, digital learning and personal development

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 139.00
Lectures (FT) 20.00
Seminars (FT) 16.00
Assessment (FT) 25.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 n/a 2000 Word Reflective Essay
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 n/a Oral Presentation