Technology is the collective term for many of the innovations and improvements in various fields over time. The word “technology” was first used in connection with the engineering discipline. Technology is the total sum of human skills, processes, or systems used in the creation of products or services or in their accomplishment of specific goals, for instance scientific research. Technology involves a wide range of human activities ranging from the technological invention of new machines to the use of information technology in its modern form. Some fields that are growing technologically as part of their missions include aerospace and aeronautical sciences, nuclear technologies, computer science, electrical and electronics, healthcare, astronomy, space travel and technology, telecommunications, x-ray technology, satellite technology, and network engineering.
In terms of its practical purposes, technology has contributed to the advancement of knowledge by allowing people to access more accurate and up-to-date scientific knowledge. For instance, the Scientific Revolution made possible the development of new and improved ways of acquiring knowledge. Technological progress has also promoted economic development by opening up new avenues for employment and creating a higher standard of living. Technological change is also associated with cultural change, as new and different types of things like music and language are being created and transformed for human life.
Technological change thus has both practical and extraneous variables. Practical purposes for instance include opening up avenues for economic growth, scientific knowledge creation, and independent variable like population demographics. Extraneous variables are external factors unrelated to the actualization of practical purposes. They can however, influence or control the realization of practical purposes, for instance the impact of artificially intelligent robots on the conception of childbearing.
One of the major arguments advanced against the above-mentioned view is that technology has been necessary for as long as there have been civilizations. Proponents of traditional psychology maintain that it is not culture that determines how well we solve problems, but rather the strength of our individual and communal character. The strength of our character determines the independence of the independent variable, which in this case is the technological one.
Traditional psychology maintains that people’s cultural values are the driving force behind their societal behavior. In fact, cultural values are independent of technological ones. As mentioned earlier, technological changes are not driven by external factors, but by internal ones. The strength of people’s cultural values determines whether they will adapt new technology or not, thus controlling the level of adaptation.
Many traditional psychologists argue that technology causes people to be disinclined to modify their behavior in line with its potential benefits or disadvantages. According to them, technology is basically an enemy because it removes the opportunity to develop alternative behavioral outcomes. Cultural values are what enable people to make the most out of technology. Thus, the loss of these behavioral outcomes is viewed as inevitable.
Cultural norms regarding property and violence are also being threatened. This is because of the increasing levels of technological access available today. Many people argue that the reduction in interpersonal violence is not caused by the increased availability of technology, but by people being unable to deal with its ramifications. Technology, according to these people, encourages aggression because it removes the ability for people to control their actions.
Technology has certainly affected society, and it is important to consider all of its possible psychological outcomes. However, it is not true that technology causes people to be disinclined to change their behavior. It may in fact be the reverse, whereby people are able to adapt to technology more readily. All in all, it would be impossible to eliminate the influence of technology on societal norms and behaviors. It is, however, possible to manage the impact technology has on a particular person or group of individuals.