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Evolutionary cyberpsychology 2.0: revisiting some old predictions and posting some new ones in the age of Facebook.

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Abstract

Human interactions are changing in far-reaching ways due to recent developments in Internet and mobile communication technologies, including widespread uptake of Facebook and other online social networks. Cyberpsychology, the study of computer-mediated communication and Internet behavior, is a rapidly developing field that has largely gone unnoticed by evolutionary psychologists. Piazza and Bering (Comput Hum Behav 25:1258–1269, 2009) published a primer aimed at applying evolutionary perspectives to cyberpsychology. We review relevant research published in the interim that bears on these predictions to see how they have fared and determine what still needs to be done to address them. We give particular attention to research on social networking software—an area of cyberpsychology that has exploded in recent years—and offer some new hypotheses that reflect this trend. The chapter is organized around six broad themes from evolutionary psychology: mating, intrasexual competition, parenting and kinship, friendship, personal information management, and trust and social exchange. We discuss the nature of each topic as it applies to Internet behavior, review relevant hypotheses and research, and offer directions for future studies.