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What Is Digital Psychology?

Learn about this specialized area of psychology and how earning a master’s in psychology can help you prepare for a career in the growing field.

Digital technology and media influence almost every aspect of daily life. Yet, there is still a lot we don’t know about how the digital world affects human psychology—from the choices we make, to the ways we behave, to how we learn and interact with others.

Digital psychology is a specialized area of psychology that attempts to understand these unknowns. The relatively new discipline combines psychology fundamentals with principles from general psychology, social psychology, media psychology, and other psychology areas.

Dr. Sreeroopa Sarkar, a faculty member in the School of Psychology at Walden University, defines digital psychology as the following:

Digital psychology is an arena of study that examines the impact of digital technology and media on psychological aspects of human lives, such as human behaviors, actions, attitudes, motivation, learning, and others.

Interestingly, human psychology also influences the development and evolution of digital media and technology, such as its influence on business performance, growth, and economic landscape. Digital psychology explores the bidirectional relationship between human psychology and digital technology and media that have tremendous influences on each other.

Professionals in the digital psychology field work to answer questions like: Does excessive screen time affect mental health? Does social media impact relationships? Why does an online shopper choose one product over another? How does digital technology influence attention span?

These are important questions as modern society’s dependence on digital technology and media continues to grow. Today, 95% of U.S. teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online almost constantly.1

“Given the explosion of digital technology and media in our daily lives, it is very important that we learn its impact—on our psychology and our physical and psychological well-being,” said Dr. Sarkar, who serves as program director of Walden’s MS in Psychology online degree program and the online master’s and doctoral programs in developmental psychology.

“Digital technology and media influence our development—such as physical, cognitive, moral, emotional, health, and sexual aspects of development,” she said. “It now impacts our romantic relationship, our education, our finances, and our economy at large.”

Digital psychology also plays a big role in business development. Understanding how technology and media influence human behaviors can help marketers engage consumers and persuade them to take desired actions. Professionals with knowledge in digital psychology can analyze and interpret digital data to better understand consumer behaviors, attitudes, and satisfactions. This data can be used to shape marketing strategy and help improve technologies and digital tools.

How Do I Prepare for a Career in Digital Psychology?

If you’re fascinated with how digital technology and media affect the human mind, you might want to think about a future in digital psychology. Earning a degree online could help prepare you for all types of career paths, including digital media consultant, social media analyst, digital data analyst, data analyst at a marketing and public relations firm, or research assistant.2

When you search for degree programs and compare your college options, you might find that most online degree programs with courses in digital psychology are geared toward digital marketing. However, if you want to examine the bigger picture and build a broader skill set in the field, consider earning an MS in Psychology with a specialization in Digital Psychology from Walden University.

In this online psychology master’s program, you will study the impact of digital technology and media on human psychology, development, and personal and social lives. You will also explore how human psychology influences the development and evolution of digital media.

By building expertise in digital psychology, you can make a difference in the ever-changing digital world and contribute to our understanding of how digital technology and media shape the human mind.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Psychology degree program online with a specialization in Digital Psychology. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/05/31/teens-social-media-technology-2018/
2Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Note on licensure: The MS in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology or counseling professional.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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