Summary of The Psychology of the Internet

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The Psychology of the Internet book summary
Psychologists agree that spending time online affects our personalities, relationships and our psyches. Now if only the Internet would stop changing long enough for us to figure out how it’s changing us.


5 Overall

4 Applicability

6 Innovation

4 Style


This is an early attempt to analyze Internet psychology. Patricia M. Wallace uses established psychological research - where it applies - to lay the foundation for understanding Internet psychology. Wherever possible, she cites contemporary Internet psychology research in presenting her opinions and conclusions; the problem is that there isn’t any. She finds very few compelling Internet research studies, and she’s the one who knows where to look. This book is just a little early out of the dock. The Internet is evolving so quickly that discussion of research conducted on Usenet groups already seems quaint. recommends this book to people who want a general psychological review of the impact of the Internet. However, the same lightening-fast change that makes these questions so fascinating also makes it very difficult to pin down the answers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What attracts people to the Internet
  • How intergroup conflict, group polarization and conformity define Internet group dynamics
  • How the Internet can become a time sink


The Internet in a Psychological Context
The Internet is a new environment that can have strong effects on behavior. Since it is relatively new, even its psychological and technical vocabulary is still being established. Hence, a brief glossary to get us started: Asynchronous...
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About the Author

Patricia Wallace is Executive Director of the Center for Knowledge and Information Management at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. She wrote an interactive psychology CD-ROM called PRISM and co-authored the textbook, Introduction to Psychology, Fourth Edition. Dr. Wallace is also the principal investigator on grants from the Annenberg Projects/Corporation for Public Broadcasting dealing with language learning through CD-ROMs and the Internet.

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