Wirtschafts- und Organisationspsychologie
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Effekte von Technik auf Wohlbefinden und soziale Interaktion/Effects of Technology on Wellbeing and Social Interaction

With the increasing presence of technology and social media in everyday life, an important issue is how this affects peoples' wellbeing.

In my research I explore, how technology design may deliberately support wellbeing, but also the side effects of current consumer technology and social media, that may diminish our happiness. Under the umbrella term 'digital depression', we highlight the critical effects of the ubiquitous technology use on our thinking, feeling, and social interaction. This, for example, includes effects of excessive Facebook use or incessant picture taking but also more subtle phenomena such as the loss of unfilled moments and room for creative thinking, due to the smartphone as a constant companion. Besides private settings, this also affects working environments and questions of business culture design.

Current research projects explore the effects of current trends (e.g., selfies) and services (e.g., WhatsApp, Tinder) of the digital world on wellbeing and other psychological variables.

Further reading

  • Diefenbach, S., & Ullrich, D. (2016). Digitale Depression: Wie neue Medien unser Glücksempfinden verändern. München: MVG. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). The potential and challenges of digital well-being interventions: Positive technology design in light of the bitter-sweet ambivalence of change. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 331. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00331 [Link]
  • Montag, C. & Diefenbach, S. (2018). Towards Homo Digitalis: Important Research Issues for Psychology and the Neurosciences at the Dawn of the Internet of Things and the Digital Society. Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 415. doi:10.3390/su10020415. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). Positive Computing – a powerful partnership between positive psychology and interactive technology. A discussion of potential and challenges. Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, 2 (1), 1-22. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Christoforakos, L., Ullrich, D. (2017). Digitale Disbalance - Herausforderungen der Smartphone-Ära. Wirtschaftspsychologie aktuell, 17 (3), 36-42. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Kapsner, A., Laschke, M., Niess, J., & Ullrich, D. (2016). Technology For Behavior Change - Potential, Challenges, And Ethical Questions. i-com – Journal of Interactive Media, 15(2), 195-201.
  • Diefenbach, S., Hassenzahl, M., Eckoldt, K., Hartung, L., Lenz, E., & Laschke, M. (2016). Designing for wellbeing: A case study of keeping small secrets. The Journal of Positive Psychology. doi:10.1080/17439760.2016.1163405.

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