The Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) recently launched a ground-breaking Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology that incorporates technology modules with psychology, in an emerging field known as cyberpsychology.
According to the Program Leader, “Cyberpsychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes in the context of human-technology interaction. The focus of this module is on the psychology of online behaviour, to uncover how the internet and digital technologies affect attitudes, emotions, and the societal impacts of living in a digital age, such as the exploration of the motives and psychological makeup that contribute to Cyber crime, she said.
While psychology professionals work in human domains, students in this field must now develop a strong grasp of technological aspects, especially when the line between cyberspace and the real world is becoming increasingly blurred.
Globally, the adoption rate of emerging technologies – including cloud computing, connected devices, mobile, robotics and blockchain, have grown at an exponential rate over the past 10 years. As of April 2022, there were five billion internet users worldwide, which is 63% of the global population. Of this total, 4.65 billion were social media users.
Further, the arrival of the Metaverse will even reinforce the blurring of the lines between the physical world and the virtual one, the physical world will eventually merge with the digital – in fully immersive virtual reality.
As technology reshapes the way people live, think, and behave, the transformation of psychology studies has introduced new ways to provide treatment or therapy. This has affected the dissemination of knowledge and how research is conducted.
Within the program’s modules, students will also be exposed to Psychotechnology, to understand user experience (UX), cognitive workload and use these results to solve practical problems. These updated, relevant modules allow students to develop vital skills and knowledge, enabling them to work in various sectors, such as e-sports, advertising, and more that require further study to determine their psychological impacts.
To create a conductive learning and studying environment mirroring the professional setting that supports both counseling and clinical psychology needs, APU has invested significantly to set up the Center for Psychology and Well-Being at its campus.
The Head of the School who oversees the setting up of the Centre, explained that as a tech-centric and industry-driven university, APU has blended technology elements into conventional psychology teaching and learning. The University’s Center for Psychology and Well-Being is an innovative facility that houses advanced equipment embedded with state-of-the-art technology that supports psychology learning and research – which itself has set us apart from our competitors.
The Center aims to develop a professional-like high-tech center which attracts students towards experiential learning coupled with a comfortable learning environment.
According to the Program Leader, by placing psychological tools infused with modern technology to better predict and understand human behavior such as Electroencephalogram (EEG), Eye Tracker, and Computerized Psychological Assessments, students can learn to make data-driven decisions.
Together with Eye-Tracking Laboratory, the design of the Center includes Psychobiological Laboratory; Psychoanalysis Therapy Suites for both individual and group therapy; Psychological Testing and Measurement Room; Psychology Group Observation Suite that is complimented with a one-way mirror and AV capture equipment; Activity and Discussion Rooms; and teaching classrooms that are tied to instructional learning and research activities.
Some highlights of the training using the advanced setting and facilities mentioned include:
- The DSI-24 Electroencephalogram (EEG) – a wireless dry electrode EEG headset in the Psychobiological Lab enables students to learn about cognitive processes like attention and memory by placing conductive electrodes on the scalp which measure the small electrical potentials that arise outside of the head due to neuronal action within the brain.
- In the Psychological Testing and Measurement Room, the latest state-of-the-art Tobii Pro Fusion Eye Tracker which focuses on information processing such as scene perception, and visual searching, provides students with a first-hand experience in using the equipment.
- The Psychoanalysis Therapy Suite features the famous Freud psychoanalytic couch. This help students learn role-play skills or to conduct any activity relating to counseling or psychotherapy.
- The Psychology Group Observation Suite is equipped with a one-way mirror (semi-transparent mirror), brightly lit from one side, allowing students to inconspicuously observe people’s behavior on the other side while maintaining privacy.
- Individual (and Group) Therapy Rooms are designed to provide a quiet, comfortable, energizing, and soothing space ideal for conducting individual or group counseling. Registered counselors and educators will use the rooms to provide their respective services like consultation, teaching, and internal-related training.
With proficiency in using advanced technology, especially digital assessments, APU’s psychology graduates become tech-savvy and well equipped for the competitive world of the psychology industry.