Psychology of the Internet Syllabus

Fall 2000

S.K. Webster

Brief Course Description: This course explores the applications of theories of psychology to human interaction via the Internet.  Topics include communications networks, group dynamics, cross cultural values and human/machine interaction.

Required Text:  Suler, J.. (1996). The Psychology of Cyberspace.
Course Outline (For specific assignments check Course Calendar.)

The Psychological Qualities of Cyberspace   
 Individuals in Cyberspace    
Dyadic Behaviors in Cyberspace   
Group Dynamics     
Research Methods     
Assigned Readings 

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5

 Additional readings will be discussed as they are relevant for the topics.  Students will find, summarize and analyze research articles on the Psychology of the Internet.

Course Requirements

Exams: A mid term and final will be composed of essay questions.

Bulletin Boards: Class discussion of the course readings will take place face to face as well as virtually using the two course bulletin boards.  All students are required to post discussion in the Named Bulletin Board.  Students may also discuss the materials in the Anonymous Bulletin Board.  Students who chose to do so should create an identifier for themselves that will remain the same throughout the course to allow for meaningful discussion.

Application Assignments:  Students will have opportunity to apply the principles of internet psychology through their own web site construction, e-mail use, and other mini-assignments.

Course Project: Student teams will produce an application of psychological theory and research to human interaction on the internet..  The application should be accompanied by a written users guide that explains the psychological principles incorporated.  The guide should include a review of relevant literature and annotated bibliography.  Excellent applications will be elgible to reside on the Westminster College Department of Psychology  home page as long as they are relevant for Internet users.
Midterm 20%
Final Exam 20%
Bulletin Board 20%
Applications 20%
Course Project 20%