Course Syllabus

DIS Logo


Semester & Location:

Spring 2024 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Core Course Study Tours: Western Denmark & Amsterdam
Major Disciplines:



One psychology course at university level

Faculty Members:

Veronika Leonova

Current Students: please contact your faculty using the canvas inbox function 

Program Contact:

Department email address

Time & Place:

Tuesdays & Fridays, 08:30-09:50

Classroom: N7-C23


Description of Course

This course addresses the productive and problematic use and impact of digital technologies across the lifespan, exploring psychological implications of cyberspace and emerging technology. The ways we think, relate, connect, learn, and work are rapidly changing. What does psychology have to say about it? In this course, we will examine what recent psychological literature tells us about the pros and cons of our wired world. We will review research on the use of cell phones, social media, video games, and the Internet, and look at topics such as identity, attention, addiction, cyber-bullying, learning, brain and mind, and relationships. The course will draw on multiple areas of psychology, including social, developmental, cognitive, educational, and neuroscience, and will involve critical analysis and understanding of research in a new field. 

Course Objectives

  • To understand what psychologists are learning about the effects of the Internet on our brain functioning, our relationships, and our sense of self.
  • To learn about psychological phenomena related to emerging technology, such as the curated Self of social media, technology-mediated communication and interaction, techno-anxiety and cyberbullying.
  • To examine how our behavior and emotional states can be affected by different technologies.
  • To refine and practice research and presentation skills
  • To work together to contribute to the growing research base in this new area of Psychology
  • To examine the digital revolution from a Scandinavian perspective
  • To explore how psychologists deal with an emerging topic in the field of Psychology


Veronika Leonova

M.A. in Clinical Psychology (Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2011). Jungian Analytical Psychotherapy education (Moscow Association for Analytical Psychology, 2012). Worked as a clinical psychologist in various institutions and taught as an external lecturer at “The Higher School of Psychology” in Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology. In Denmark since 2015. I work with children, adolescents and adults, conducting individual and group therapy in private practice and as a volunteer in NEFOS. With DIS since 2017.


  • Barrat, J. (2015) Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

  • Buckels, E.E. et al. (2014) Trolls just want to have fun. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, pp. 97-102

  • Benjamin et al. (2015) Relationship between internet use and depression. Computers in Human Behavior, 43, pp.308-312

  • Elhai J.D., et al. (2018) "Depression and social anxiety in relation to problematic smartphone use: The prominent role of rumination", Internet Research, 28/2, pp.315-332

  • Carr N. (2010) The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brain
  • Cunningham, C. (2013).  Social networking and impression management: Self-Presentation in the Digital Age
  • Ellison, N. Et al (2012) Profile as promise: A framework for conceptualising veracity in online dating self-presentations. New media and society, 14(1), 45-62
  • Harrari Y.N. (2017) Homo Deus

  • Howard, M.C. (2014) An epidemiological assessment of online groups and a test of a typology: What are the (dis)similarities of the online group types? Computers in Human Behavior, 31, pp. 123-133
  • Introduction to Cyberpsychology (2017), CMC and online media, Kirwan, G. Pp. 31-41
  • Kalpidou, Costin, & Morris (2011), “The relationship between Facebook and the well-being of undergraduate students” pp. 83-189
  • Matz, S., Kosinski, M. et. Al (2017)Psychological targeting in digital mass persuasion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Rooney, B. (2017) Introduction to Cyberpsychology. Conducting online-research, pp.15-22
  • Suler, J. (2006) Psychology of Cyberspace. The classic text.

  • Strayer, Watson, & Drews (2011), “Cognitive distraction while multi-tasking in the automobile” pp. 29-58
  • Wiederhold, B.K., Bouchard, S. (2014) Advances in Virtual reality and anxiety disorders

Field Studies

See course schedule

Guest Lecturers

See course schedule

Approach to Teaching

I focus on creating an open and challenging learning environment, where there’s room for questions, discussions, group work, and case studies. It is important for me to motivate and inspire my students to develop their own critical thinking skills by engaging them in the learning process as active collaborators. In class I expect you to be present, ask questions and participate in discussions. All opinions and points of view are welcome within the context of a constructive discussion. I also believe that in studying psychology personal growth and change is as important, as learning theory and strive to create a safe room for everyone to express their personal response to our material.

You can always ask me additional questions before and after class or via e-mail, which I ‘ll do my best to answer within 24 hours.

Expectations of the Students

As a student, you are expected to participate actively during class and field studies. It is also highly important that you read the articles and other material given to you before every class.

Apart from asking questions, participating in discussions and offering critical reflections on the topics, students are expected to consider how their contributions affect the overall work climate in class.

Be punctual for class and field studies.

Show respect for and attempt to understand other people’s viewpoints and experiences, whether this be other students or guest lecturers and people encountered on field studies.

Assignments and Evaluation


Form of evaluation


Active participation



Theory and research presentation



Core course week analysis paper



Reaction papers



Research paper



Visit presentations during the Long Study Tour





Total: 100


Active participation (10 points)

Active participation is an important part of this course, as it includes a lot of discussions. Active participation includes:

  • demonstrating the thoroughness of preparation and understanding of the readings;
  • bringing notes and questions to the assigned readings to class

- using course concepts to help explain or justify comments;

- asking productive, thoughtful questions;

- contributing regularly without dominating;

- responding to other students' comments in a responsible, respectful, intellectual manner.


Theory and research presentation (15 points)

Each student will have an opportunity to organize and lead a part of a class (20-30 minutes), where you will present relevant theoretical and research material and lead a discussion on the topic, typically in groups of 3-4. The student leaders will develop expertise on the topic of the day and develop a plan that balances the time between presentation and leading discussion. The goal is to broaden our understanding of the topic of the week, and for you to learn how to investigate a topic more deeply, organize and present material to others in an interesting and informative way (this can also include activities, film clips, etc.).

You will be expected to include a Scandinavian/Danish perspective on the issues if possible. I will meet with each set of leaders as they plan their class in order to help guide the process, provide ideas to get you started and plan toward the best use of class time for all. You will be expected to submit an outline for the class and will be evaluated on your planning, the effective use of outside materials, your presentation, your facilitation of class discussion, and the overall educational value of your part of the class.

Rubric for this assignment will be available on Canvas.


Core course week analysis paper (10 points)

For a Core Course reflection paper, you choose one (or more) activities from our week and analyze its content and your impressions in relation to our lectures and relevant research papers. The paper should be 2-3 pages. More details will be available in Assignments section of Canvas.


Reaction papers (10 reaction papers, 30 points total)

In reaction papers, you try to apply what we are learning in this class to yourself and your own life in the digital world through small exercises. All exercises are based on assigned readings and topics, discussed in class. Reaction papers should include terminology from our course and/or readings (please, highlight or underline it in the text). Each paper should be at least 1/2 of a page. There are 10 reaction papers that form your book of Cyberexperiences at the end of the semester.


Research paper (25 points)

You choose a topic, related to our course, find several recent research articles on it and present them in the research paper. You are welcome to choose a topic, basing on one of your reaction papers, or choose another topic. You can also choose a topic, related to cyberpsychology, but not featured in our course. In that case, please, consult me before you start writing. The paper is expected to be 4-5 pages long and feature at least 3 research articles.


Visit presentations during the Long Study Tour (10 points)

Each academic visit will be presented by a small group of students, that will be expected to provide us with background information about the visit, broaden our understanding of the topics that we cover.


You are expected to attend all classes, guest lectures, workshops and field studies. If you must miss a class for religious holidays, medical reasons, or other valid reasons, you must let us know as far in advance as possible of the absence and obtain information about the work you must do to keep up in class. If you miss a class for any other reason (sudden illness, family emergency, etc.), you should get in touch with us as soon as possible and arrange to make up the work missed.

Academic Honesty

DIS expects that students abide by the highest standards of intellectual honesty in all academic work. DIS assumes that all students do their own work and credit all work or thought taken from others.   

Academic dishonesty will result in a final course grade of “F” and can result in dismissal. The students’ home universities will be notified. DIS reserves the right to request that written student assignments be turned in electronic form for submission to plagiarism detection software. See the Academic Handbook for more information, or ask your instructor if you have questions.

Policy on late papers: Late papers will be accepted for up to 3 days after the deadline, but the grade for the paper will be reduced.

Policy for students who arrive late to class: Come in quietly :) Students who are repeatedly late for class will receive a lower participation grade.

Use of laptops or phones in class: Students, who use their laptop for reasons not related to class, will have their class participation grade reduced significantly. Use of telephone is not allowed outside of breaks. For some lessons, laptop use may be banned completely.  


Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due