Some people view psychology and computer science as two separate fields with little in common. The general consensus is that computer science is a very rigorous and quantitative research culture while psychology research is based on more qualitative studies of human behavior and perception.

But in fact the majority of modern computer science is influenced by psychological principles. Computer scientists and psychologists work closely together to design technology interfaces. This encompasses everything from car dashboards to cockpits as well as computer operating systems and game controllers. A lot of psychological research requires sophisticated software for processing massive data sets.

Psychologists are increasingly relying on technology to extend their reach. The traditional methods of research in psychology, which involve examining the behavior of a specific person in an environment controlled by a psychologist or assessing broad patterns of behavior via self-report questionnaires or interviews have inherent limitations. (Experiments are typically limited to one experiment and longitudinal studies are not common due to the difficulty in collecting and analyzing large quantities of data.)

Computer technology has opened up new ways of understanding the behavior of people. For instance, the brain-imaging technique fMRI is not possible without computers. Researchers can link specific brain regions with cognitive processes such as reading or memory. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

The CCBT method is now accepted by the UK’s National Health Service as an effective treatment for mild-to moderate depression and anxiety. Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the practice of psychotherapy by replacing therapy professionals with robots that evaluate and treat patients online.