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The psychology of the Internet is a fascinating and ever changing

90% of information has been created in the last 2 years. The internet is constantly changing and by the time you read this no doubt it will have changed again!

Information in an individuals cloud is stored in numerous bits in different databases around the world.

The internet has affected our everyday life, e.g. our vocab, where net was associated with fishing and now is linked to the internet!

Research has found that a high proportion of students use the internet instead of libraries at their universities when researching and completing assignments.

Natives and Immigrants which are you?

Prensky (2001) argues that there is thought to be two types of internet users, natives and immigrants.

Digital Natives

Digital natives are those who were born after the widespread adoption of the internet. Digital immigrants are those who were born before the widespread adoption of the internet. Digital natives are thought to be of a higher internet usage, knowledge and understanding of the internet and digital immigrants are thought to never reach this level.

Digital Immigrants

Digital immigrants are those who were born or brought up before the widespread use of the internet. Research has found that digital immigrants are more likely to have a phobia of the internet and be more nervous to use it.

Questions, Questions – Google, Google

Sparrow, Liu & Wegner (2011) has found that when presented with a question that we can’t answer we are primed to first use the internet to seek the solution.

This has raised questions whether the internet is an external hard drive or brain and experiments have found that people remember less information when they know that they will have access to the internet later to search for the answers.

Ophir, Nass & Wagner (2009) found that people who rarely multitask have been found to be better at it compared to those who multitask frequently.


Cyberspace can be thought of as a psychological space, e.g. Chat room.

Thought to be different internet users dependent on your personality – those who are more extrovert more likely to spend time on discussion forums and on social sites.

Internet Reviews

If presented with a list of reviews at the top of a website page a star rating system has the affect that people are more likely to just look at the star rating and react to this than keep reading individuals reviews.

Website Design

The more stimulation on websites the more time an individual will spend and interact on your website.

Graphic design causes internet users to have stronger feelings of loyalty and trust in a website.

Users trust websites that have previous internet user satisfaction.

Website music can aid sales

Kim, Kim & Lennon (2009) found that playing different kinds of music on websites can influence what products people purchase online, such as playing classical music means people are more likely to buy more expensive wine.

Psychology and the internet

Watch this space as over time the internet will no doubt be forever a changing platform and thereby analysis, research, cause and effect will all be monitored and analysed with not only psychologists but business analysts, scientists, IT developers et al all having a view and a way to test and measure this ever changing communication vehicle.


Amichai-Hamburger, Y., Kaplan, H., & Dorpatcheon, N. (2008). Click to the past: The impact of extroversion by users of nostalgic websites on the use of Internet social services. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(5), 1907-1912.

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15583-15587.

Utz, S. (2010). Show me your friends and I will tell you what type of person you are: How one’s profile, number of friends, and type of friends influence impression formation on social network sites. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 15(2), 314-335.

Kim, J. H., Kim, M., & Lennon, S. J. (2009). Effects of web site atmospherics on consumer responses: music and product presentation. Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 3(1), 4-19.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon,9(5), 1-6.

Yang, B., & Lester, D. (2004). Attitudes toward buying online. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(1), 85-91.

Mauri, A. G., & Minazzi, R. (2013). Web reviews influence on expectations and purchasing intentions of hotel potential customers. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 34, 99-107.

Sparrow, B., Liu, J., & Wegner, D. M. (2011). Google effects on memory: Cognitive consequences of having information at our fingertips. science,333(6043), 776-778.

Yee, N., Bailenson, J. N., & Ducheneaut, N. (2009). The Proteus effect: Implications of transformed digital self-representation on online and offline behavior. Communication Research.