Posted by & filed under Cultural Variation, Health Psychology, Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Intervention: Children and Adolescents, Motivation-Emotion, Persuasion, Research Methods, Social Influence, Social Psychology, Social Psychology, Stress Coping - Health.

Description: If you are enrolled at a college, university, school at almost any level or work somewhere you have probably not only heard of but are now regularly using Zoom. What is Zoom? Well it is a platform that makes it possible to set up online meetings for everything from a friend’s chat, to a business meeting, to Virtual Office Hours, to a class presentation to 3 or 400 students in an introductory psychology class. From a Psychological perspective why do you think it is that the downloading and use of Zoom and other online meeting apps have skyrocketed in recent days? Also, whether or not you are now taking classes that suddenly became Zoom classes last week what do you see as some the potential Psychological benefits and hazards or drawback associated with using such platforms as replacements for what we did before? What sorts of research should we consider doing and how might we design that research given that essentially everyone is being asked to social distance? Finally, how might we explore important questions like will distant socialization (like Zooming) be an appropriate replacement for now old school “real” social connections?

Source: We Live in Zoom Now, Taylor Lorenz, Erin Griffith and Mike Isaac, The New York Times.

Date: March 22, 2020

Photo Credit:  Matthew Henry

Article Link:

I honestly do not have any answers to the above questions and, given how quickly the social distancing measures hit I have not seen anything but the rawest speculation out there and no research to speak of on the topic. Worth some thought and definitely worth some research. I can think of a few universities and a few tech companies who might be interested in such research (and maybe in finding such research). Interesting times!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How might an online class and an old style “in a room” class differ?
  2. How much will those differences mater and to whom?
  3. What sorts of topic or content areas might a Psychology Online Social Interaction include?

References (Read Further):

Ally, M. (2004). Foundations of educational theory for online learning. Theory and practice of online learning, 2, 15-44.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies.

Kropf, R. (2002). How shall we meet online? Choosing between videoconferencing and online meetings. Journal of Healthcare Information Management—Vol, 16(4), 69.

El Mansour, B., & Mupinga, D. M. (2007). Students’ positive and negative experiences in hybrid and online classes. College student journal, 41(1), 242.

Lashgari, K., Talkhabi, A., & Nazarpour, M. (2011). Comparison between online classes and traditional classes. Nature & Science, 9(6), 18-23.

Wojciechowski, A., & Palmer, L. B. (2005). Individual student characteristics: Can any be predictors of success in online classes. Online journal of distance learning administration, 8(2), 13. Link