Book ReviewsCyberPsychology

The Psychology of Online Behaviour – Nicola Fox Hamilton

This book can only be listened to in Audible. You can find a link to the book on Nicola’s home webpage

If you are considering studying CyberPsychology, this book is an easy-to-listen-to introduction to the subject.

The book covers the following Cyber topics:

  1. The Science Behind the Big Debates
  2. Is Online Communication Different? 
  3. Who Are We When We’re Online?
  4. Finding Love Online
  5. The Brighter Side of the Internet
  6. The Darker Side of the Internet
  7. A Web of Lies 
  8. Why We Fall for Cybercrimes
  9. Online Shopping
  10. The Big Gaming Debates

A few highlights from the first chapter of the book, ‘The Science Behind the Big Debates’, includes:

  • ‘Many of the conversations we are having around CyberPsychology are emotionally heightened. Often this results in moral panic’
  • The effects on screentime and mental well-being are small or non-existent – to the point that ‘they are of no practical significance’
  •  ‘When we attempt to estimate our time spent on a behaviour, we are not very accurate, particularly when it involves estimating a behaviour that occurs frequently and that is well integrated into our lives, as technology is…only about 10% of estimates are close to accurate’
  • ‘There is a lot of pathologising of normal and healthy behaviour online’
  • ‘Displacement theory helps us understand that our technology use has the potential to displace other healthy behaviours such as: getting a good night’s sleep, exercising regularly, maintaining our close relationships or fulfilling our work or study commitments. If your digital media use is interfering with those essential requirements, then it might be a problem that needs addressing. If it’s not, and you’re enjoying your online interactions, then there isn’t really any problematic use. You’re just doing something you enjoy’
  • ‘Giving a child strategies, and discussing how they might respond to difficult, or potentially even dangerous, encounters is key to allow them to develop the skills they need to keep safe online’
  • Confirmation bias is ‘when we believe something, we pay more attention to something that supports that belief and ignore information that contradicts it – this is something to be aware of when thinking about your own technology and how you feel about the online world.’ 

In this short video Nicola briefly describes her speciality in online dating in a talk at Bright Club Ireland:

In this video Nicola talks about how to talk to your teenager (and some great hints and tips) about Online Dating.

About Nicola Fox Hamilton:

Nicola Fox Hamilton has a PhD in CyberPsychology and is a lecturer in applied psychology and cyberpsychology at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).

You can read more about her on her official website.