My real question is where can I find people to discuss topics in this area of study - the application of behavioral psychology on technology and computers. For example, can we use what we know about the physiology of the brain and the psychology of humans to make better software?

I know that behavioral psychology is starting to be applied to the areas of economics. Is it being applied in other areas like technology? How would I be able to form discussion groups with people interested in this topic?

Thank you for any guidance that you can provide.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. Funnily enough, if you are looking for research on human behaviour, the area of Psychology you are looking for is Behavioural Psychology. So if you are looking for research on behaviour of computer software users, the area of Psychology you are talking about is Behavioural Psychology. If you are looking for research on behaviour of hardware users, the area of Psychology you are talking about is Behavioural Psychology. What research have you found which makes you believe otherwise? $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ Answering your last question, I've never seen any articles by psychologists on the topic of tech and computers. I would be extremely interested in knowing where I could find articles of that sort. Can you help a clueless newb like me? Or am I a hopeless case? $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2020 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


What you are looking for is not so much a 'sub-field', as they are cross-disciplinary fields of researchers who borrow from different fields, including computer science and psychology.

Human factors:

Human factors and ergonomics (commonly referred to as human factors) is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the engineering and design of products, processes, and systems. The goal of human factors is to reduce human error, increase productivity, and enhance safety and comfort with a specific focus on the interaction between the human and the thing of interest.

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI):

Human–computer interaction (HCI) studies the design and use of computer technology, focused on the interfaces between people (users) and computers. Researchers in the field of HCI observe the ways in which humans interact with computers and design technologies that let humans interact with computers in novel ways. As a field of research, human–computer interaction is situated at the intersection of computer science, behavioural sciences, design, media studies, and several other fields of study.

We have a tag on this site.

Information science:

Practitioners within and outside the field study application and usage of knowledge in organizations along with the interaction between people, organizations, and any existing information systems with the aim of creating, replacing, improving, or understanding information systems. Historically, information science is associated with computer science, psychology, technology and intelligence agencies.

  • $\begingroup$ Steven, thanks for answering. If this is cross-disciplinary, then where should I go looking for people to discuss such topics? I've tried looking on the tech side but nobody seems to have the faintest clue about the importance of psychology to computer design. eg. Today, I explained to a developer that constantly relocating iconic is very difficult for people to remember. A static arrangement would be immeasurably better. He didn't believe/ignored me. Can you recommend specific discussion groups? Thanks for any help you can provide. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2020 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ If you couldn't understand from my above comment (I had to write multiple drafts due to the word limit), I'm really actively looking for people to discuss the combination of software design and behavioral psychology. There are so many basic but major impactful improvements that can be made to popular programs and OS system tools/functions. Why people haven't done anything yet amazes me. $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2020 at 3:15
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnGreer "Can you recommend specific discussion groups?" Please have a look at the site tour. This is an opinion-based question and not allowed here, since Stack Exchange Q&A sites are not for open-ended discussions. I answered your question in a way that it may remain open. The fact that there are several research fields dedicated to the topic clearly counters your observation that "people haven't done anything yet". To find people, now you have a few more keywords to search for. You can also try the UX Stack Exchange chat, or when phrased as questions, their site. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Apr 30, 2020 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Steve, I really appreciate the helpful info. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Apr 30, 2020 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Steve, I haven't had much luck with your suggestions. You said that there are several research fields dedicated to the topic clealy counters... The problem is that those fields do not apply to behavioral psychology or psychology is very tangential. For example, information science deals almost nothing about psychology. You recommended the UX Stack Exchange chat, or when phrased as questions, their site. I didn't quite understand that. What should be phrased as questions? $\endgroup$ May 15, 2020 at 2:53

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