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March 28, 2012
  Psychology apps
The ubiquitous rise of smartphone and tablet applications ('apps') is beginning to filter through to the world of psychology. An app called Buddy that allows users to keep track of their activities and feelings has just been rolled out to mental health service providers nationally after a successful trial.
The Buddy app ( was designed by London-based Sidekick Studios in association with South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust and with financial support from the NHS Regional Innovation Fund and NESTA. The app works via the sending and receiving of text messages to users' phones (this makes it compatible with any phone).
The app sends reminders, helps with diary keeping and goal-setting, allows analysis of patterns between a person's feelings and behaviours, and aids session planning.
In trials, clients using the app were less likely to miss therapy sessions.
The app has now been adopted by four boroughs in south east London, by North East Essex, and by the Five Boroughs Partnership in the north west. Organisations purchase licences for the app allowing them to provide it to a given number of people.
Meanwhile, Wiley-Blackwell, which publishes the Society's journals, has also launched a free psychology app called Spotlight for use with iPhones and iPads. The app allows users to keep track of psychology conferences, abstracts, books, blogs (including the Society's Research Digest) and journal special issues.
Elsewhere, Richard McNally's lab at Harvard University has reportedly just completed a trial of an iPhone intervention for anxiety. There's a Mobilyze app in development at Northwestern University, which is designed to detect signs of depression;
a Tell Me About It! app - a language development tool for autistic children based on the principles of applied behavioural analysis; there's an app in development at Samsung that determines user emotions based on factors such as typing speed and shaking of the phone; and the memory training guru Tony Buzan is planning a series of iMindMap apps around his Mind Mapping techniques. cj
I Have you come across any good-quality psychology apps? Let us know via Twitter on @psychmag

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    Posted By: Jon Sutton @ 28/03/2012 11:39 AM     News from the Psychologist  

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