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Cyberpsychology Section

Cyberpsychology is a scientific inter-disciplinary domain that focuses on the psychological phenomena which emerge as a result of the human interaction with digital technology, particularly the Internet.

About

Cyberpsychology exists to pursue and formalise a scientific understanding of the impact, dynamic processes and outcomes that democratised digital technologies have enabled in individuals, groups and the wider society.

By investigating issues around gaming, social media, virtual reality, online learning and virtual interest groups, we hope to raise (and answer) questions about the motivations, experiences, and effects surrounding the interactions between humanity and technology.

While statistical and theoretical research in this field is largely based around Internet usage, cyberpsychology also includes the study of the psychological ramifications of cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality amongst other things.

Although some of these topics may appear to be the stuff of science fiction, they are quickly becoming science fact, as evidenced by the development of increasingly interdisciplinary approaches involving the fields of biology, engineering, and mathematics.

As the overlap between man and machine expands, the relevance of human-computer interaction (HCI) research  will only increase. And, with the rising number of Internet and computer users around the world, it is evident that technology's effects on the human psyche will continue to significantly shape both our interactions with each other and our perceptions of the world that is literally "at our fingertips."

Contact us

Our mission

Our mission is to:

  • initiate, organise and promote a range of activities and produce artefacts that translate the purpose and vision of the group, into high quality and highly valued contributions to the field of Cyberpsychology

  • become the expert source of learning and development for all core members and affiliates, as well as other stakeholders, with an interest in or impacted by Cyberpsychology

  • become the credible professional community of choice for Cyberpsychologists and affiliate members, who are all united by the same objective of furthering and promoting the research in the field

  • be known as the expert advisory body that serves a wide range of stakeholders including government and policy makers, who have a shared interest in understanding, monitoring, regulating, managing and mitigating the impacts of digital technology on the wider society

  • maintain key ethical values of ethical practice, professionalism, and transparency, in all that we do

Online networking sessions

We also have a series of online networking events which are a chance for members and non-members to connect and engage with other cyber-enthusiasts! Visit our up-to-date event list.

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Cyberpsychology Section

#CyberSectionChat

Established in 2019, #CyberSectionChat is a monthly scheduled chat session which is focused around specified topics and themes.

Media pieces

Keeping track of Cyberpsychology-related articles and media appearances.

General

Resources for practitioners

Smartphones

Digital gaming

Addiction

Online data and behaviour

Emoji

Recommended resources

Books

The committee also recommends a number of books which provide some important insight into the work and purpose of cyberpsychology:

  • Attrill, A (2015). Cyberpsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press

  • Attrill, A., Fullwood, C. (2016). Applied Cyberpsychology: Practical Applications of Cyberpsychological Theory and Research. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

  • Attrill-Smith, A., Fullwood, C., Keep, M., & Kuss, D. J. (2019). Oxford Handbook of Cyberpsychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press

  • Benson, V., & McAlaney, J. (2019). Cyber Influence and Cognitive Threats. Academic Press

  • Benson, V., & McAlaney, J. (2019). Emerging cyber threats and cognitive vulnerabilities. Academic Press

  • Connolly, I., Palmer, M., Barton, H., & Kirwan, G. (2016). An Introduction to Cyberpsychology. New York: Routledge

  • Hadlington, L. (2017). Cybercognition: Brain, behaviour and the digital world. London: Sage

  • Harley, D., Morgan, J., & Frith, H. (2018). Cyberpsychology as everyday digital experiences across the lifespan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

  • Hurley, O. A. (2018). Sport Cyberpsychology. New York: Routledge

  • Kaye, L. K. (2022). Issues and Debates in Cyberpsychology. Open University Press

  • Kuss, D. J., & Pontes, H. M. (2018). Internet Addiction. Abingdon: Hogrefe

  • McMahon, C. (2019). The Psychology of Social Media. Routledge

  • Meredith, J., Giles, D.., & Stommel, W. (2021). Analysing digital interaction. Palgrave MacMillan

  • Parsons, T. D. (2017). Cyberpsychology and the Brain: The interaction of neuroscience and affective computing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Parsons, T. D. (2019). Ethical Challenges in Digital Psychology and Cyberpsychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Power, A. (2018). Cyberpsychology and Society: Current Perspectives. New York: Routledge

  • Power, A., & Kirwan, G. (2014). Cyberpsychology and New Media: A thematic reader. New York: Routledge

  • Suler, J. (2015). Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans become electric. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Whitty, M. T., & Young, G. (2016). Cyberpsychology: The study of individuals, society and digital technologies. Leicester: Wiley

Conceptual Models, Theories, and Hypotheses

Scales and Measures

Cyberpsychology Courses

Undergraduate Courses

Postgraduate Courses

Career pathways

There are many applications of cyberpsychology.

Here are just some of the ways that cyberpsychology can be applied to career routes:

Download the Cyberpsychology Careers Diagram

Additionally, there are specific focal areas in cyberpsychology which synergise multiple discipline perspectives such as:

 

Research groups

Cyberpsychology Section Committee

Chair - Dr Dawn Branley-Bell

Dr Dawn Branley Bell is a Chartered Psychologist of the BPS. She is a committee member of the BPS Cyberpychology Section, and was a member of the steering group involved in formation of the section. Dawn is a Research Associate in the Psychology for Communication Technology (PaCT) Lab at Northumbria University. She specialises in online behaviour, behaviour change, cybersecurity, eHealth/mHealth, and technology to promote positive behaviours and positive interventions. She is also interested in research around self-harm, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and associated online support/communication.

Twitter: @TheCyberPsyche

Past Chair - Dr Linda Kaye

Dr Linda K. Kaye is a Chartered Psychologist of the BPS and is a founding member of the BPS Cyberpsychology Section.

Linda is an Associate Head in the Department of Psychology at Edge Hill University and specialises in areas relating to cyberpsychology and explores ways in which online settings can promote social inclusion and well-being.

Her research interests broadly explore how online worlds affect our everyday experiences and behaviour, and the extent to which we can understand human psychology from studying people’s online behaviour.

Chair Elect - vacant

Secretary - Dr Lisa Orchard

Dr Lisa J. Orchard is a Graduate member of the BPS. She is a Senior Lecturer within Psychology at The University of Wolverhampton. She specialises in social cyberpsychology and specifically social media use in relation to individual differences. Her current research focuses on the role of social media within breastfeeding promotion, support, and decision-making.

Treasurer - Dr Graham Scott

Dr Graham Scott is based at UWS

Committee Member - Conference Lead - Dr Beth Bell

Bio to follow.

Committee member - Vacant

This position is vacant.

Co-opted Committee Member - Dennis Relojo-Howell

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg, a digital publication that focuses on psychology, mental health, and wellness. He's doing a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh, and his research project explores the viability of blogging as an intervention to promote resilience in young people.

Committee Member, Communications Lead - Dr Catherine Talbot

Dr Catherine Talbot is a cyberpsychologist specialising in social media, health, and qualitative methods and is currently a Lecturer in Psychology at Bournemouth University.

She is interested in positive technology usage by people with stigmatised health conditions, and how technologies can be developed to promote social inclusion and foster wellbeing.

Her current research focuses on the social identities of people with dementia in online settings.

Committee Member - Dr Darren Chadwick

Dr. Darren D. Chadwick is an Associate Fellow of the BPS. He is a Reader in Applied Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton.  He specialises in the use of information and communication technologies by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their carers. His current cyberpsychology research considers digital inclusion, identity and online risks for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and carer use of online support groups.

Committee Member - Carol Brooks

Industry Representative - John Blythe

Bio to follow.

Industry Liaison rep - Dr Paul Marsden

Paul lectures in fashion psychology at UAL (University of the Arts London), with a focus on the psychology of wearable technology. He also runs digitalwellbeing.org, a site dedicated to summarising research on the impact of digital technology and AI on human wellbeing. In industry, Paul promotes the need for guidelines on the responsible use of AI and autonomous agents in connected technology and marketing.

Practitioner rep - Frances Ackroyd

Frances Ackroyd is a Member of BPS CyberPsychology and Defence sections and of the Division of Occupational Psychology. 

She serves on the CyberPsychology committee as Practitioner Representative, linking industry, academic and government contacts together to promote and share research and best practice. 

With a consulting background in organisational and technology-driven change, Frances currently coaches and conducts programmes varying from performance improvement in connected, digital environments to understanding human factors risks and behaviours in cyber-security.

Her research focuses on innovation, cultural and behavioural change, with particular interest in how people interact with technology in different contexts. 

PsyPAG rep - Christopher Leech

I’m a PhD researcher at Edge Hill University studying psychology, looking at video games and mental health. I’m a person with Albinism and thus visually impaired, and I’m a huge advocate for equality and diversity. I am also the current PsyPAG representative for the Cyberpsychology section and it’s an honour to represent my fellow students. 

Committee Member - Editor-in-chief of Member Publication – Dave Harley

Dr Dave Harley is a Chartered Member of the BPS and Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Brighton.

His broad research areas cover Cyberpsychology and HCI with a particular interest in older people’s appropriation of digital technologies.

He is currently engaged in qualitative research looking at experiences of mindfulness in relation to the digital world.

Join

Cyberpsychology is a scientific interdisciplinary domain, which focuses on the psychological phenomena that emerge as a result of the human interaction with digital technology, particularly the internet.

The Cyberpsychology Section draws together a community of those interested in the outcomes and effects of digital technology for individuals, groups and wider society.

We strive to ensure technology-based recommendations and developments are evidence-based.

What the section does for you:

  • Access to the Cyberpsychology Bulletin – our regular members bulletin aims to keep you updated with the latest in cyberpsychology; filled with news stories, events, research insights and book reviews
  • An annual conference dedicated to cyberpsychology and related research
  • Events for continuing professional development, with preferential rates for members
  • Regular networking events, including our monthly Twitter chat (#CyberSectionChat) and student-specific networking through a dedicated social media group and virtual coffee mornings
  • Dedicated careers and outreach teams, working towards a stronger integration between cyberpsychology and industry
  • Dedicated microsite providing a resource bank of cyberpsychological journals, guidelines and tools

Apply to join

Membership of the Cyberpsychology Section is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

Being a member of the society also has its benefits, such as professional titles, The Psychologist magazine, journal access, and a number of professional guidelines and ethical support.

If you are not already a BPS member, you can join the Cyberpsychology Section at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

Apply to join the society

Member Announcement Email List

The Cyberpsychology Section uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the Section you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  • become a member of the Cyberpsychology Section
  • opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'Cyberpsychology Section announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting involved with the Cyberpsychology Section committee

The Cyberpsychology Section relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Section is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or student members, and together form an open and inclusive community.