Document Type : Scientific Research Manuscript


Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology, Institute for Social and Cultural Studies


Information technology and its consequent virtual space are opening up a new sphere in psychological, sociological and cultural studies associated with the mutual effect of technology, culture and human beings in general, and the interaction of cyberspace and culture, identity and human relationships. Recent studies in this field should be examined at least to realize whether the psychological and social outcomes and the pathology of virtual spaces are the result of the overflow of problems and issues of society and the real space into virtual space, and to decide if the challenges and the social problems in question are due to the development and growth of electronic media and virtual space? While describing and explaining  the effect of culture, society and their consequent traditions on virtual spaces, relationships and their content, and examining the effect of virtual space on culture, social actions, identity, attitudes and individual and collective behavior, the present article stresses that considering the short history and the little experience of the interaction between human and information technology and virtual space, it seems too soon to speak decisively about the outcomes of information technology and virtual spaces. Therefore, two principles are suggested to be established in cultural and social research on cyberspace. First, in the study of virtual space, priorities should be identified correctly and one should not merely focus on the problems resulting from information and communication technology instead of dealing with fundamental issues. Second, both in the theoretical and the methodological aspects of studies on virtual space, in different social and cultural spheres, one cannot rely merely on traditional theories and method, and new methods, in terms of theory, methodology and tools, should be applied.