How Does Technology Affect Society?
Examples of Technological: Computers, electricity and the Internet – The power to do simple thinking processes more quickly allows industry, science and commerce to move much quicker. An example of technological advances is the Internet that provides instant information on a global scale and makes up-to-date data accessible to virtually anyone with access at any time… Wireless Internet for instance allows you to surf the internet from virtually anywhere in the world for little or no cost. Video conferencing lets you communicate effectively across country or continent; satellite television lets you view your TV shows and programs from practically any location in the world and personal digital assistants such as laptops, PDAs, smart phones and tablets allow you to access information, store data and perform regular tasks.
Examples of Technological: Physical sciences and chemistry – These examples of technological advances in the physical sciences and chemistry are useful only for their abilities to gather evidence and provide models for further study. As noted above, examples of technological advances refer specifically to the scientific knowledge on hand and not necessarily to the capacities of the earth, the sun, stars and other visible objects. Examples include the development of the wheel and the planetarium, the construction of the Hoover Dam and the internet… In the case of the latter two examples, however, we have already established that scientific knowledge alone is insufficient for practical purposes and therefore the potential of the earth and its ecosystems is also an important factor to consider.
Examples of Technological: Non-Physical Science and Psychology – An example of technological advancement in the psychological field can be seen in attempts to develop a scientific theory of personality which seeks to explain and predict individual behavior. This effort seeks to cast light on the “why” rather than just the “what” when it comes to human behavior. One approach to answering this question is through studying emotional intelligence, which predicts a person’s level of intrinsic personality as well as his/her response to situations. Another approach uses neuropsychological theories of mind and social learning in which each individual’s neural structure is modeled after the learned behavior of others which then enables one to more effectively understand the external world and its patterns. Both of these theories attempt to explain and predict human behavior beyond the biological factors influencing physiological and behavioral attributes.
Methods of Testing: Technology is typically defined as a set of methods to specify and measure a variable. Many disciplines within science use technological systems to specify what is to be measured. The most common categories of measurement used in science are quantitative (e.g., length, weight, temperature, and density) and qualitative (e.g., number or time). Qualitative variables have less precise measures but are often used as indexes of how technological systems operate rather than definitive tools for measuring them.
As an example of a qualitative variable, a technological system can be measured by how well it satisfies the desired function. Quantitative variables, on the other hand, involve only counting or measuring the elements of a system. The methods used to study the various aspects of technological systems must be specific enough to describe both how the variable changes over time (as in the case of changing technologies) and what changes are required to make that change occur (as in the case of changing organizational cultures and practices).
Quantitative methods are used to test the effectiveness of new technology. Qualitative variables evaluate technological systems for safety, functionality, and effectiveness against desired goals. The quality of human life is not an independent variable but rather influenced by the quality of the technological system used to provide the desired goods and services. Thus, qualitative science has great predictive value in studying society and how it evolves through time.