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Master of Research (M.Res.) in Cyberpsychology: Interview with Dr.Mary Aiken

October 22, 2021

Doctor Mary Aiken is a Professor and Chairwoman of the Department of Cyberpsychology at Capitol Technology University. Her work as a Cyberpsychologist inspired the CBS primetime show CSI: Cyber, and she is currently appearing in the new HBOMax documentary “15 Minutes of Shame,” which explores cyberpsychological aspects of online trolling and cancel culture.

With the brand-new Master of Research (M.Res.) now available at Capitol Tech, I got in contact with her for a Q and A style degree spotlight to discuss all the opportunities this online degree has to offer.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself. How did you come to get into cyberpsychology and work for Capitol Tech?

I first studied psychology in the 80's prior to technology and the Internet as we know it now. I worked for a number of years in consumer behavioral profiling in the Marketing and Advertising Services Sector, and first came across AI in the 90's in the form of a Chatbot "Jabber Wacky," developed by a colleague of mine. I was captivated by this stunning new technology and quickly realized that nothing in my training at that point equipped me to understand the impact of these powerful and pervasive innovations. I decided to return to academia and undertake a Masters of Science in Cyberpsychology and a PhD in Forensic Cyberpsychology. I have worked for many years in research at an international level, as an expert advisor to Industry, Governments and to global law enforcement agencies such as Europol and INTERPOL. I was introduced to Capitol Tech by my good friend and colleague Diane Janosek, NSA Training Director/Commandant of the National Cryptologic School.

Q: What exactly is cyberpsychology?

 Cyberpsychology is the study of the impact of technology on human behavior. My specialist area is Forensic Cyberpsychology which focuses on the study of Criminal, Deviant and Abnormal behavior online.

Q: What will the new Master of Research in Cyberpsychology at Capitol entail, such as classes and opportunities?

 The Master of Research (M.Res.) in Cyberpsychology degree is a unique program designed to meet the long-standing needs of disseminating research skills to those dealing with and working at the interface between humans and technology. It is a new and essential area attracting the need for research combining two fields of study: human behavior and technology.  The M.Res. in Cyberpsychology program is designed as a degree of research primarily, where students will quickly become able to engage in leadership, research, and publishing. It is aimed at those that may want to explore research studies before starting a Doctorate by research. Likewise, those that work in research and want a master’s qualification but in a subject specific to their work.  

Q: How long has planning for this degree been in the works? What sparked the inspiration to create this M.Res.?

For many years I have been searching for an opportunity to develop an online Masters and Doctoral program in Cyberpsychology. I am delighted that with the help of Cap Tech Dean Ian McAndrew and President Brad Sims that we are now the first University worldwide in a position to offer both of these higher degrees online—an incredible outcome in terms of global accessibility.

Q: What careers could one be able to gain with an M.Res. or PhD in Cyberpsychology?

Graduates are likely to find employment or promotion opportunities across a wide range of sectors including but not limited to industry, the technology sector, cybersecurity, infosec, financial services, education, e-commerce, healthcare, government, law enforcement, military and academia.

For more information on enrollment, contact admissions@captechu.edu.