Some people see psychology and computer science as distinct fields that have nothing in common. The consensus is that computer science is an extremely rigorous and quantitative research culture, while psychology studies are rooted in more qualitative studies of human behavior and perception.

However, a lot of modern computer science is inspired by psychological factors. The design of technology interfaces – from car dashboards to aircraft cockpits as well as operating systems for computers to game controllers – are largely brought about by psychologists working closely with computer scientists. In addition, a lot of psychological research is statistically intensive and requires sophisticated software to process huge data sets.

Psychologists are increasingly relying on technology to expand their reach. While the traditional techniques for testing of psychology data processing focusing on the behavior of a specific individual in a controlled environment, or assessing broader behavioral patterns by means of self-report questionnaires and interviews are not without limitations (experiments are limited to one experiment, while longitudinal studies are rare because of the difficulties of collecting and analyzing large quantities of data).

Computer technology has opened up new avenues to study people’s behavior. For example the brain-imaging technique known as fMRI is not possible without computers. The technology lets researchers match specific areas of the brain with specific cognitive processes, for example, memory or reading. EEG (electroencephalography) is another example of a technology that uses computer processing to record and analyze brain activity.

Moreover, the UK’s National Health Service now recognizes the CCBT (computerized cognitive behavioral therapy) as a treatment that is effective for mild-to-moderate manifestations of depression and anxiety. And artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize psychotherapy by replacing therapists with robots able to examine and treat patients on the internet.