|Image Credit: https://singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/events/psychweek2018/|
Day 1Topic: Coping in our World of Disruption: How technology has affected our mental health and methods of coping with stress
Speaker: Jeremy Oliveiro (Lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechic and MINDEF Defence Psychologist)
As a lecturer in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Jerry finds that he needs to be kept up to date on the technology to be used for the class facilitation. Jerry thinks that students these days depend a lot on the technology and would be more motivated or tend to concentrate better with the use of technology. At the same time, Jerry has also shared the technology can be a good tool for assessment or coping mechanisms, but it also can have significant impact on our mental health and any related psychological issues.
Changes due to modern technologyOne of the impacts that Jerry shared was that we tend to accept delayed gratification lesser these days. For instance, television and movie frames these days are showed less than 4 seconds for each scene. This indirectly has caused us to be easily frustrated if any scene appears for too long. It does transfer the same effect to our daily living. The example he stated was that we used to be able to wait for bus for more than half an hour, and yet we tend to be more upset if we must wait for more than 15 minutes now.
Another prominent example is that we tend to hook up with the games on easily these days due to the variable reward system. Research showed that variable reward system engaged a person more as compared to the fixed reward system (Weinschenk, 2013).
Benefits of technologyWith regards to tools used during the lesson, Mentimeter and Kahoot were mentioned to be used to engage students. Students seem to be more engaged with these use of technology as compared to ‘I talk, you listen’ kind of teaching style.
Another crucial point to note also that social media platforms are also used to create different support groups or awareness campaigns to help those in needs to tie through their down-periods. These are the beauty of using the technology to benefit the community.
Issues of technology
My biggest take away from this session was that the technology is always good to be used to plan a more creative lessons or creative ways to engage the audience. However, it is also important to manage the purpose of the technology or the content that people read from websites. It is indeed not easy to manage; hence, it still boils down to educators or parents to facilitate or manage the content that may ultimately affect the students or children’s tendency to be addicted to technology.
Day 2Topic: Minds and Miners: Disruptive technology in psychological research
Speaker: Karyen Chai
Advancements in technology has positively impacted research in psychology, such as the development of the electroencephalography (EEG), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and the use of algorithms. The device that most of us can’t live without - our cell phones - has also increased our efficiency in data collection through online surveys.
|Image Credit: https://ijgolding.com/2014/11/25/the-big-wi-fi-conundrum-a-way-to-make-money-or-a-way-to-give-customers-what-they-need/|
Data MiningWhat comes to mind when we think of data mining?
Big Data? Statistics? Facebook?The essence of data mining is to extract patterns from substantial amounts of data to understand and predict. Data mining is commonly used in businesses (e.g., stocks), medical research, and companies like IBM, eBay, Facebook, and Google. However, data mining is not yet as commonly used in psychological research (Cheung & Jak, 2016).
Data mining at work: One moment you’re scrolling through products on eBay, the next moment you see advertisements of the same product appearing on Facebook!While data mining has the potential to strengthen empirical research in psychology (Cheung & Jak, 2016), there are some things that we need to consider.
Pros of Data Mining
- Unfiltered truth
- Proven to work
- Statistical significance
- Loss of privacy
- Questionable ethics
- Targeted marketing/information
- Who does the data belong to - us or the data collector?
- Who is having our data?
- If we use services for free, does that give companies the right to use our data?
- If we pay for the services, should data collectors not be allowed to use the data?
So what can we do about it?For practitioners:
- There is a need to ensure that clients are making an informed choice about providing their personal data.
- The amount of data used should ensure anonymity of the client.
- How long should these data be stored - 5, 10 years?
- Be more aware of the data that we are sharing online.
If you like to learn more about Big Data and its implication for psychological research, here's a video by American Psychological Association:
Conclusion for the first two days of the talksThey are rather very informative and so far, we have been quite benefited from the talk. There will be another post coming up to cover the rest of the talks. If you have attended the talks as well, do share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
ReferencesCheung, M. W., & Jak, S. (2016). Analyzing big data in psychology: A split/analyze/meta-analyze approach. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00738.
[Full article link: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00738/full]
Weinschenk, S. (2013). Use unpredictable rewards to keep behaviour going: Do you know what the casinos know? Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201311/use-unpredictable-rewards-keep-behavior-going