The Psychology of Technology: Past, Present and Future
Dr Amy Orben, College Research Fellow, Emmanuel College and MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge Concerns about how digital technology use affects children and young people have captured growing shares of our attention in the last years. A scientific consensus about the effect of time spent on digital screens is, however, far from established. This talk will cover why research on technologies is oftentimes destined for failure, by examining the past, present and future of psychological investigation into this controversial topic. By delving into the technology panics of the past decades – from scares about radio addiction to concerns about aggression due to comic books – it will paint current technology concerns in a new light. The talk will then cover what we presently (don’t) know about digital technology effects from both scientific and policy perspectives. Lastly, it will examine possible avenues for improving our thinking around digital technologies, screens, and adolescence in the digital age.