I must admit that I was surprised at the very notion of psychology phone apps. I couldn’t possibly believe that there could be an app that could make you feel relaxed, motivated, or that could help you achieve your goals. It emerged that no phone app can do any of this for you, but they can help get you started and sustain your motivation when you have such to begin with, whatever your ultimate goal. There are many phone apps that could serve these purposes.
Better grasp of ideas and brainstorming
Popplet is a platform with a very simple interface, which permits the user to move at the speed of their thoughts. It utilizes the principle of Gestalt, which refers to the tendency of the human brain to store similar ideas in similar places in their cognitive map. With Popplet you can better grasp your own ideas, sort them visually, and work with other people in real time. Popplet has received special mention by Apple, Fast Company, TUAW, and PadGadget and awards from Mac World. It facilitates brainstorming, mind-mapping, planning projects, creating diagrams and processing charts. It also allows creating journals, notes, and lists, creating mood boards and travel plans, galleries with photos and other images, presentations, and more. This app is free, but if you want more than one Popplet, you have to get the paid version. Some features, such as online integration, real-time collaboration, PDF export, and VGA support are also paid.
The app Eyetricks is based on the psychology subfield of visual perception. It features the Rubin Vase (which is both a vase and two faces depending on how you look at it), the photo that shows both a young woman and an older one, impossible designs, color tests (to test color blindness, for example), and more. This is very useful for psychology students to learn some basic principles of perception.
How can an app help you relax? By offering you psychotherapy as you go. One such app, made by a licensed therapist, is iCounselor. There are special versions for people with depression and people with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). They provide helpful information about the illnesses. You can rate how you feel right now (ex. 8 out of 10, 10 being super-duper and 0 being all-time low), look at your thoughts and become more aware of what they really are. For example, the app can record your thoughts and tell you that you are identifying problems, and then give information about what you might be doing specifically. The app is based on the modern positive psychology principle – namely positive thinking.
Tracks It All is an app that helps you achieve goals. You input your goal and it tracks whether you are making progress.
Finally, PsycExplorer is an iPhone/ iPad-based app that delivers to you the latest information and news about psychology, research, blog posts, videos and tweets. This makes it an irreplaceable tool for teachers of psychology.