Internet applications range from university training to e-commerce and from online dating to virtual organizations. Customary modes of communication have been supplanted, enriched, and expanded by online interactions. In that logic, over the same time span, the psychological study of Internet usage has evolved from being a study of peripheral phenomena to being the study of a pervasive and important aspect of daily life.
Curtis Cripe led software development teams for several DOD projects including management and technical efforts of a multi-state, multi-site program developing unique Internet management.
The Internet as an Entity of Psychological Study.
There are several forms in which the Internet is important to psychology. One is that the Internet has become the object of mental research. In conventional approaches to studying the Internet, psychologists endeavored to predict its impact by making associations to other media. Where this policy was useful insofar as the Internet was analogous to customary communication media, the Internet has progressed to make this approach less achievable: it functions progressively less like any other medium. This is due to the fact that the Internet functions both as a social network connecting individuals, and as a medium that can be shaped (programmed) to transmit any information or communication that has the potential to be interceded. This means that on the Internet individuals can accomplish a range of communication functions, from interpersonal communication, through passive reception of persuasive advertising messages, to being a mass communicator.
Furthermore, it means that as the Internet becomes progressively fundamental vehicle in our interactions with others, it transforms and affects the social world and the constraints by which one engages with it. The Internet enables individuals to maintain present ties and form new ones, to construct and explore new ones, to reinforce existing social identities and networks, and rupturing boundaries of social structure, geography and social stricture. In the framework of this, the field is shifting away from studying the Internet for its methodological features, and it is moving towards the study of the very real social and psychological implications of the virtual world. Progressively, psychological research in this interdisciplinary field recognizes the consequences and uses of the Internet in their full extent: the fact that some are unrestricted, others unreceptive, some disconnected and individualist, and others connective and collectivist.
The Internet has inspired many operational and methodological developments, and poses unique practical challenges, such as dealing with failure and large amounts of data. In addition, the Internet serves as a new and enormous laboratory for psychological research. Psychologists utilize the programmable feature of this network to run their questionnaire and experimental research using the surfing community as accomplices for a wide variety of studies. Both aspects enhance the instruments and reach of psychological research, and endow the discipline.
The Internet provides an assorted mixture of applications. Therefore, according to Curtis Cripe, research on individual’s behaviors on the Internet and use of the Internet is a heterogeneous field that cannot be entirely covered in one periodical issue.