The Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online

Mary Aiken. Spiegel & Grau, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9785-9
Aiken, a self-described forensic cyberpsychologist, shows in compelling detail how the online world bleeds into people's daily lives in ways that occasionally involve actual bloodshed. The online environments that people increasingly inhabit provide a range of benefits, but they present as many problems. Aiken's stories are stirring enough to stand alone: she covers the near-normalized phenomenon of online dating, the addictive and fatal extremes of gaming, and even murders that are motivated by aspirations of Internet fame. Some analysis focuses on how children respond to the digitized world, information that is especially useful to parents hoping to protect their children from developing bad habits or ending up in danger. Aiken accompanies every anecdote with her own carefully researched, comprehensible analysis. Some of the final notes might read as extreme; for example, her suggestion of a general redesign of the Internet seems at this point inconceivable, and predictions of an all-encompassing battle between humans and machines feels more like the stuff of movies than of scholarship. Still, the relevance of Aiken's careful discussion is undeniable.(Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 08/23/2016
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752300-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752298-6
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-8129-8747-8
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