The Science of Cyber Behavior: An Emerged Field of Research

The Science of Cyber Behavior: An Emerged Field of Research

Zheng Yan (Faculty of Educational Psychology and Methodology Division, University at Albany, Albany, NY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcbpl.2013040106


Is the science of cyber behavior an emerging field or an emerged field? This sounds like a debatable topic. The central argument of this theoretical article, however, is that there exits strong evidence suggesting that the science of cyber behavior is an emerged rather than an emerging field and substantial scientific knowledge of human behavior in the cyber space has been accumulated over the past 30 years. In this article, the author first introduces the concept of cyber behavior, then elaborate the existing evidence for the science of cyber behavior an emerged field of research, present a new important piece of evidence that suggests the science of cyber behavior as an emerged field, and concludes with an outline of future research efforts that will make the science of cyber behavior an established field.
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2. What Makes The Science Of Cyber Behavior An Emerged Field Of Research?

This is not an easy question to answer intuitively, while both the general public would agree on existence of cyber behavior in modern society and scientific researchers might agree on ubiquitous, complex, and dynamic nature of cyber behavior as a new, unique, and important human phenomenon.

Science is generally considered as a systematic enterprise that advances empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge to describe, explain, and predict natural, social, mental, artifactual phenomena in order to improve the life of human beings. It has evolved from ancient science to classic, modern, and contemporary science. There exist a wide variety of specialized scientific fields that are either well established for hundreds of years (e.g., physics, mathematics, and philosophy) or else merged over several decades (e.g., computer science, materials science, and neuroscience).

The science of cyber behavior is a field of research that examines cyber behavior. It has a history of approximately 30 years since Sherry Turkle published her seminal book entitled Second Self. Strong evidence shows that over the last 30 years it has changed from an emerging field into an emerged field, and in the future will certainly become an established field.

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