- Book Title: The Wiley Handbook of Psychology, Technology, and Society;
- Authors: Larry D. Rosen, Nancy L. Cheever, and Mark Carrier;
- Publisher and date of publication: Wiley Blackwell (New York, NY), June 2, 2015;
- Authors’ background: Larry D. Rosen has been known as a research psychologist and educator, who used to be the Chair of the Psychology Department at California State University. Rosen is a Professor Emeritus. He has been studying psychology and computer education and has been known as a keynote speaker (Larry D. Rosen Ph.D., 2016). His profound knowledge of the psychology of technology allowed him to contribute extensively to the process of writing the book. Nancy L. Cheevers has also been working at the California State University. She is a Professor and Chair of Communications, an advisor, and a journalist option coordinator (Nancy A. Cheever, Ph.D., n.d.). Mark Carrier, in turn, is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the California State University (L. Mark Carrier, n.d.).
- Important issues raised in the book: Rosen, Cheever, and Carrier consider the links between sociolinguistic problems and IT factors inhibiting or contributing to their development. The researchers study the psychology of technology, i.e., the effects that IT innovations have on people’s cognitive and personal development. Furthermore, Rosen et al. (2015) shed a lot of light on the impact that technology has on children, thus, stressing the significance of using IT innovations as the means of spurring young learners’ development. The effects that social media has on societal progress, social values and trends in the contemporary global community are also scrutinized closely. Finally, Rosen et al. (2015) (454) analyze the effects of media on different audiences. Thus, a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages of IT tools as support in education and social interactions are studied thoroughly.
Structure of the Book
The Psychology of Technology
The Acute and Chronic Impact of Technology on our Brain; 2 Similarities and Differences in Workplace, Personal, and Technology‐Related Values, Beliefs, and Attitudes Across Five Generations of Americans; 3 Internet Credibility and Digital Media Literacy; Gender Digital Divide: Does it Exist and What are the Explanations?; Access and Attitudes to Digital Technologies Across the Adult Lifespan: Evidence from Distance Education; Navigating Psychological Ethics in Shared Multi‐User Online Environments;
- The connection between the psychological development of an individual and the use of technology is identified;
- The opportunities for personal growth that modern technologies supposedly provide is described;
- The issue of ethics in technology and gender-related concerns are discussed.
Children, Teens, and Technology
Executive Function in Risky Online Behaviors by Adolescents and Young Adults; Cyberbullying: Prevalence, Causes, and Consequences; A Step Toward Understanding Cross‐National and Cross‐Cultural Variances in Cyberbullying; Sexual Communication in the Digital Age; Mobile Phone Dependency: What’s All the Buzz About?; Assessing the Written Language of Text Messages; Texting Behavior and Language Skills in Children and Adults; Are “Friends” Electric?: Why Those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Thrive in Online Cultures but Suffer in Offline Cultures;
- The authors consider the opportunities that technologies open for young learners;
- The development of gender issues and sexuality in the context of digital communication is explored extensively;
- The options for people with developmental issues (particularly, autism) are listed.
Social Networking and Depression; Sex, Alcohol, and Depression: Adolescent Health Displays on Social Media; Exploring Disclosure and Privacy in a Digital Age: Risks and Benefits; The Emergence of Mobile Social Network Platforms on the Mobile Internet; Technology and Self‐Presentation: Impression Management Online; Narcissism, Emerging Media, and Society;
Searching for Generation M: Does Multitasking Practice Improve Multitasking Skill?; Multitasking and Attention: Implications for College Students; Understanding Multimedia Multitasking in Educational Settings; Multitasking, Note‐Taking, and Learning in Technology‐Immersive Learning Environments; Multitasking and Interrupted Task Performance: From Theory to Application;
- The issue of privacy as the primary concern of e-communication is rendered;
- The opportunities for multitasking in the academic environment are listed.
The Media’s Impact on Audiences; Cultivation in the Twenty‐First Century; Internet Addiction; Smashing the Screen: Violent Video Game Effects; What is Known About Video Game and Internet Addiction After DSM‐5; The Future of Technology in Education.
- Different audiences at which IT media aims are mentioned;
- Myths about videogames and their supposed effect on violence rates are addressed;
- Future opportunities for deploying IT tools in the academic environment are studied.
Connection with Kranzberg’s “Laws of Technology”
Since technological progress implies a continuous motion and, therefore, unceasing progress, determining the characteristics that will remain true of every technological innovation that disrupts the global market and reinvents the communication processes in the global society is a rather difficult task. Kranzberg (1995), however, managed to single out the principles that can ostensibly be observed when considering people’s interaction with technological innovations in any time slot.
The assumptions that were made by Rosen et al. (2015) in their book, in turn, seem to align with the laws outlined by Kranzberg, which makes the study by Rosen et al. (2015) not only important and insightful but also timeless. While being a product of its time, the book also renders the issues that may occur with the introduction of any kind of disruptive technology.
Indeed, a closer look at the arguments made by Rosen et al. (2015) will show that they coincide with the statement made by Kranzberg in his first law, i.e., the fact that technology cannot be labeled as either good or bad; instead, it should be viewed as a means to an end. Rosen et al. (2015) point to the opportunities that the latest innovations have to offer, yet they do not shy away from discussing some of the controversial aspects of their implementation in the environment of the global community.
For instance, the opportunities for enhancing media literacy among the members of the global population are discussed along with the threats that the contemporary digital tools have on people’s health (Rosen et al., 2015, pp. 3-56).
Thus, the authors of the book make it clear that digital devices, including social media and other types of IT innovations, are only tools, and their effects hinge on the goals that their users set, the technological savvy of the people that utilize them, the awareness about the possible issues that may occur in the process of deploying innovative IT media, etc. Put differently, the negative effects of modern media, as well as its positive ones, are defined by the choices made by people, whereas the technology itself has a neutral effect. Therefore, the objective overview of the opportunities and threats to which the application of modern IT tools may lead aligns with the first law suggested by Kranzberg (Altman & Avery, 2015).
The second law of Kranzberg, which states that any invention is dictated by necessity, also fits the context of the book written by Rosen et al. (2015) For instance, the authors stress the fact that the increasingly fast pace of globalism and the following need to engage in consistent cross-cultural interactions have led to the need to use the tools that allow for multitasking. Seeing that the latest IT innovations create an opportunity to engage in several activities at once and take part in the communication process with several participants separately (e.g., with the help of chats, social media, etc.), the authors’ concept of technological development as the product of the need for a multicultural dialogue is quite compatible with the statement made by Kranzberg. Furthermore, the phenomenon known as blogging is also viewed in the book as the effect of the need to share information on a global level.
According to Rosen et al. (2015), blogs offer their users extensive opportunities for sharing information and, which is even more important, engage in an active communication process by discussing relevant issues addressed in blogs.
Thus, the lack of interactions, in reality, is compensated with the participation in online conversations. Furthermore, blogs can be viewed as the products of the necessity to share professional experience and gain new knowledge and skills, especially as far as intercultural communication is concerned. There is no need to stress that learning more about different cultures is crucial for successful negotiations and the further management of cross-cultural conflicts. The use of blogs and similar IT tools, in turn, allows learning more about various cultures and, therefore, preventing the instances of cross-cultural confrontations. Therefore, the second law stated by Kranzberg is also confirmed by Rosen et al. (2015)
The third law, which states that technology comes in packages, implies that modern mechanisms are quite complex and, therefore, incorporate several components or processes. To be more accurate, the identified statement means that the creation and production of modern technological tools typically require carrying out a range of tasks and involve the collaboration of experts across numerous areas.
Therefore, a multidisciplinary effort is often required to implement a particular task involving the use of innovative technologies. Rosen et al. (2015), in their turn, expand the specified concept by adding that collaboration is not only necessary but also inevitable in the realm of the global community. In other words, the authors of the book make it clear that to launch the process of global communication with the help of IT tools, a joined effort of a huge number of participants and communities will be required. One might make a slim argument by claiming that Rosen et al. (2015) never mention the identified law directly.
However, the fact that the modern global communication process and the application of the relevant IT tools are extremely multifaceted is hinted at quite transparently in the book by Rosen et al. (2015). Similarly, the authors of the study address the concept of cyberbullying as an important concern in the modern online community from a multidisciplinary perspective. In other words, Rosen et al. (2015) stress the importance of using several stages of dealing with the problem and inviting numerous experts from several fields to consider the problem and engage in active collaboration for its successful management. Therefore, the book aligns with the principles of Kranzberg’s third law completely.
The issue of technological determinism is also rendered in the book. According to the existing definition, the phenomenon of technological determinism implies that the creation of disruptive technologies, as well as progress, in general, defines the values that are accepted in the target society (Servaes, 2014). In other words, the creation of IT innovations ostensibly contributes to shaping social norms and values, therefore, prompting not only professional but also personal growth of its users.
The specified idea is not addressed in the book directly. Indeed, Rosen et al. (2015) never state that there is a correlation between the development of new values or the subversion of old ones and the incorporation of a particular IT innovation into the communication process. However, the importance of technology as one of the driving forces behind the change in social values and opinions is rendered in the book.
For instance, Rosen et al. (2015) state firmly that the incorporation of IT innovations into the global communication process contributes to a massive enhancement of diversity in the global community. As a result, people learn to accept other cultures’ ideas and philosophies, therefore, developing tolerance and the ability to engage in cross-cultural communication using negotiation and managing conflicts successfully.
At this point, one must also mention that, with the help of modern media as the platform for the consistent intercultural dialogue, the very concept of conflict has changed; specifically, there is a tendency to view confrontations as the means of learning essential lessons about other cultures and efficient methods of interacting with them. Therefore, technology contributes to the shift toward tolerance and acceptance in the global community, as well as a massive rise in diversity levels thereof.
Thus, it can be assumed that Rosen et al. (2015) point indirectly to the opportunities associated with the development of new social values and standards with the help of disruptive IT innovations and social media technology. Thus, the issue of technological determinism is explored in the book in depth; moreover, Rosen et al. (2015) seem to support the concept, even though they never state directly that they favor the specified theory.
Technological progress is inevitable and essential to the proper functioning of society. It enables the members of the global community to interact with each other actively and develop the skills that will allow them to engage in a multicultural conversation successfully, avoiding possible conflicts, and carrying out negotiations efficiently. In their book, Rosen et al. (2015) study the effects of modern technology, assessing both the positive and negative implications of its usage.
Moreover, the authors provide efficient strategies for mitigating the negative effects of modern technological innovations, thus, encouraging people to build a safe environment for multicultural dialogue. The book by Rosen et al. (2015), therefore, can be viewed as an important guide toward using the available communication devices wisely. The conclusions that the authors make align with the principles of technological development discovered by Kranzberg and, therefore, prove that efficient communication is a possibility in the context of the global environment.
By making efficient use of the existing media tools and avoiding making common mistakes concerning information security, privacy, cross-cultural communication, negotiation, etc., the participants of the global communication process will be able to contribute to building a better environment for multicultural interactions. Therefore, the assumptions made by Rosen et al. (2015) can be used as the platform for developing a strategy for a cross-cultural conversation that is bound to lead to a rapid improvement in people’s communication skills, acquisition of important qualities, and new competencies, and active information sharing.
Altman, M., & Avery, M. (2015). Information wants someone else to pay for it: laws of information economics and scholarly publishing. Information Services & Use, 35(1-2), 57-70.
Kranzberg, M. (1995). “Technology and history: ‘Kranzberg’s laws’.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 15(1), 5-13.
L. Mark Carrier. (n.d.). Web.
Larry D. Rosen Ph.D. (2016). Web.
Nancy A. Cheever, Ph.D. (n.d.). Web.
Rosen, L. D., Cheever, N. L., & Carrier, M. (2015). The Wiley handbook of psychology, technology, and society. New York, NY: Wiley Blackwell.
Servaes, J. (2014). Technological determinism and social change: Communication in a tech-mad world. New York, NY: Lexington Books.