Dissertation Title:

The Technological Mediation of Psychopathologies: Depth Psychology and the Philosophy of Technology


Patrice Alana Jacob

Date, Time & Place:

December 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm
Room A, Ladera Lane campus


The purpose of this hermeneutic study was to explore how concepts from the empirical turn in the philosophy of technology could be used to understand the expanding roles of technologies in clinical psychological issues. We live surrounded by advancing technologies with accelerating development. However, depth psychology has a notable lack of the vocabulary, frameworks, and research necessary to understand technology’s role in contemporary and future psychopathologies. The works of three key authors in the philosophy of technology, Don Ihde, Bruno Latour, and Peter-Paul Verbeek, were selected for their approaches to human-technology mediations. Three psychopathologies were chosen for their troublesome interactions with technologies: gambling disorder, anorexia nervosa, and problematic pornography viewing. The human-technology relations involved in these clinical issues were interpreted using concepts from the philosophy of technology and the findings were contrasted with comparable clinical approaches. Four major conclusions emerged from this research. First, technologies were shown to mediate these psychopathologies. Second, the models from the philosophy of technology provided coherent and robust frameworks for investigating the experiences of these psychopathologies. Third, mediation approaches improved upon insights and benefits of currently used clinical models. Fourth, trends in future technologies will necessitate new approaches to assess the psychological impacts of human-technology relations. These findings provide a way to take the materiality of technologies and their psychological effects into account and argue for the importance of literacy about technological mediation for clinical psychology practitioners.



Therefore, shuttle service is not available.

Thank you for your kind consideration

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, Track O, 2008
  • Chair: Dr. Diana Sharpe
  • Reader: Dr. Christine Lewis
  • External Reader: Dr. Carol Mayhew
  • Keywords: Clinical Psychology, Philosophy, Technology, Postphenomenology, Gambling, Anorexia Nervosa, Pornography, Technological Mediation, Hermeneutics