Sumit Sharma

The internet can enable disruptive psychology

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Is it possible that the Internet  will enable a disruption to the study of human psychology? I think it could. Imagine that as we put more of our lives online, and data and information about our habits, behaviors, cultural and social activities gets recorded it could tell us a little more about ourselves. Perhaps, just perhaps it might even tell a story about ourselves that we didn’t even know.

Who are we? What do we like? Have you ever wondered why that really shy person wears such a loud bright yellow jacket, is there anything beyond just, “it’s fashionable” and moreover, how does shyness and bright yellow go together? Why does a mid life crisis occur? Can the Internet avoid a mid life crisis? Is it conceivable that mid life crises occur because of unmet needs being fulfilled? Hence the urge to quit your job, start a new hobby, buy that convertible, travel the world or buy a motorbike? If so, then how can we avoid this? By knowing ourselves.

There are a few layers to what the “self” really is and keeping it a mundane physical level here is how I believe we can make an impact: It is possible that our behaviors, and what we define our personalities to be, aren’t heavily correlated? Take the example of the shy geeky closet gamer sitting in his room on Friday night gaming away – perhaps that’s a very charismatic person waiting to be tapped, or stimulated – perhaps his/her upbringing wasn’t conducive to his/her personality development or perhaps he/she has had some drastic events/situations to deal with in life that has molded them into who they think they are, but really are not. If you believe this to be a plausible argument then perhaps they web of data can enable users to know more about themselves, because of the things they’ve been watching, places they go to, websites they visit or meals they order. The list can go on and on and this data in turn, if sliced and diced appropriately can open up new possibilities in the forms of book recommendations, social/professional networks, products, jobs or places to travel to etc.

Can Facebook be your psychologist? Why not!


Written by Sumit

December 15, 2009 at 6:47 am

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