Drawing on examples from Chapters 2, 6 and 7 of Investigating Psychology, discuss the claim that technology has played a decisive role in the development of psychological research.


Chapter 2 discusses the obedience studies by Stanley Milgram. Section 2 outlines the seminal study, while Section 3 discusses the controversies surrounding it. However, for this essay, Section 4 is especially relevant, as it discusses some innovative ways of overcoming the ethics concerns raised in response to the original studies. Note that some involve the use of technology, others do not; you could include this in your discussion of the claim in the question.

Chapter 6 considers psychological research on friendship. Sections 2, 3 and 4 introduce a number of classic and contemporary studies. For the present essay, Section 5 is likely to be especially relevant, as it considers the rise of online friendships in recent decades, and how this has influenced the way that people engage with their friends. The audio-visual interview with Carly Butler may also be relevant, as it discusses the use of recording equipment in the study of children’s play.

Chapter 7 introduces psychological research on the structure and functions of the brain. Section 4 is especially relevant, as it considers different techniques for studying the brain which have been made possible by advances in technology. However, make sure you revisit other sections, especially Sections 2 and 3, as examples given there are closely related to the essay question and contain important examples that you may want to draw upon. Note, however, that in considering both sides of the argument, you may want to draw on some of the material from Section 5 (as well as some of the audio-visual material linked to Chapter 7), which looks at various interventions used in the treatment of stroke patients, which are much less reliant on sophisticated technology.