Applications on the Internet:
Azy Barak, PhD
Department of Psychology and Department of Education
The rapid developments in computers and information technology in the past decade has had their impact on psychology, which has moved in this context from local computer applications to network applications that take advantage of the Internet. The current article critically reviews various psychological applications in use on the Internet, with special emphasis given to their promises and advantages as well as to their shortcomings and problems. Specifically, ten types of psychological Internet applications are reviewed: information resources on psychological concepts and issues; self-help guides; psychological testing and assessment; help in deciding to undergo therapy; information about specific psychological services; single-session psychological advice through e-mail or e-bulletin boards; ongoing personal counseling and therapy through e-mail; real-time counseling through chat, web telephony, and videoconferencing; synchronous and asynchronous support groups, discussion groups, and group counseling; and psychological and social research. Following a discussion of ethical and related concerns, a call is voiced for intensive research and international brainstorming.