Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle (born June 18, 1948) is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . She obtained a BA in Social Studies and later a Ph.D. in sociology and Personality Psychology at Harvard University . She now focuses re research on Psychoanalysis and human-technology interaction. She has written books verschillende focuses on the psychology of human relationships with technology , met name in the realm of how people Relate to computational objects.

In The Second Self , oorspronkelijk published in 1984, Turkle writes about how computers are not tools as much as they ‘are a part of our social and psychologische lives. “Technology,” she writes, “catalyzes changes not only in what we do but in how we think. ‘” [3] She goes on using Jean Piaget ‘s psychology discourse to Discuss how children learn about computers and how this Affects hun minds. The Second Self was RECEIVED well with critics and was praised for being “a very thorough and ambitious study.” [4]

In Life on the Screen , Turkle discusses how emerging technology, specifiek computers, affect the way we think and see ourselves as humans. She presents to us the différent ways in welke computers affect us, and how it has led us to the now prevalent use of “cyberspace.” Turkle suggests dat Assuming différent personal identities in a MUD (ie computer fantasy game) ‘may be therapeutic. She’ll be considers the problems therein ARISE als using muds. Turkle discusses what she calls women’s “non-linear” approach to the technology, calling it “soft Mastery” and ” bricolage ” (as Opposed to the “hard Mastery” or linear, abstract thinking and computer programming). She discusses problems therein ARISE als children pose as adults online.

Turkle ook Explores the psychologische and societal impact of industry leaders “relational artifacts” as social robots , and how synthesis and other technologies are changing attitudes about human life and living things algemeen. One result nov be a devaluation or authentic experience in a relationship. Together with Seymour Papert she wrote the paper Influential “Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete.” [5] Turkle has written numerous articles on Psychoanalysis and culture and on the “subjective side” or people’s relationships with technology, met name computers. She is Engaged in active study of robots, digital pets, and simulated Creatures, bijzonder Those designed for children and the elderly as well as in a study of mobile cellular technologies. Profiles or Turkle port Appeared in zoals publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and Wired Magazine. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC, and NPR, zoals appearances on zoals programs as Nightline and 20/20.

Turkle has begun To assess the adverse effects of rapidly advancing technology on human social behavior. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from eachother was published in 2011 and als discus the topic she speaks about the need to limit the use of popular technologische devices Because of These adverse effects. [6]

Early life and education

Sherry Turkle was born in Brooklyn on June 18, 1948. After she graduated as a valedictorian from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1965, she Began re studies at Radcliffe College . After a few years at Radcliffe, Turkle took time off from college to live and work in France. During this time she had a glimpse of France’s era of social and intellectual Unrest. In the early 1970s, she Returned to the United States and graduated with a Bachelors in Social Studies from Radcliffe College . She dan RECEIVED a Masters in sociology at Harvard University in 1973. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Sociology and Personality Psychology from Harvard University in 1976. Inspired by re-time in France prolongation re undergraduate years, she did re dissertation research in France, “writing about the relationship tussen Freudian thought and the modern French revolutionary movements.” [1] This relationship was ook the subject or re first book, Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud’s French Revolution .

The Second Self

In The Second Self , Turkle defines the computer as morethan just a tool, but part of our everyday personal and psychologische lives. She looks at how the computer Affects the way we look at ourselves and our relationships with others, claiming therein technology defines the way we think and act. Turkle’s book Allows us to view and reevaluate our own relationships with technology.

In her process of Evaluating our relationships with computers, Turkle interviews children, college students, engineers, AI scientists, hackers and personal computer owners in order to remit under state our relationships with computers and how we interact with Them on a personal level. The interviews Showed dat computers are both a part of our selves as well as part of the external world. In this book, Turkle tries to figure out why we think of computers zoals psychologische terms, how this happens and what this Means for all of us. [7]

Life on the Screen

In Life on the Screen , Turkle presents a study of how people’s use of the computer has Evolved over time, and the profound effect down therein machine has one zijn users. The computer welke connects millions of people across the world together, is changing the way we think and see ourselves. Hoewel de it was oorspronkelijk intended to serve as a tool to help us to write and communiceren with Vodafone, it has more Recently Transformed JSON a Means of Providing us with virtual worlds welke we kan step JSON and interact with other people. The book discusses how our everyday Interactions with computers affect our minds and the way we think about ourselves.

Turkle ook discusses the way our human identity is changing due to the fading boundary tussen humans and computers, and how people now harbor trouble distinguishing tussen humans and machines. It-used to be thought dat humans ulcers nothing like machines Because humans had feelings and machines did not. However, as technology has most innovative, computer port Become more and more human-like, and synthesis boundaries had to be redrawn. People now compare hun eigen minds to machines, and talk to Them freely Without Any shame or embarrassment. Turkle questions our ethics in Defining and differentiating tussen real life and simulated life. [8]

Alone Together

A Cautionary tale about the limits of technology, Alone Together Explores where technology is taking us and how society adapts to answer new questions brought` on by the rise of mobile technology, robots, computers, and other electronic gadgets. Mn, the author Turkle, raises concerns about the way in welke genuine, organic Social Interactions Become degraded through constant exposure to illusory meaningful exchanges with artificial intelligence. There is a deep underlying Irony Turkle’s central argument: dat de technologische developments welke port must Contributed to the rise of inter-connectivity, port at the time co bolstered a sense of alienation tussen people.

Robot Moment

Turkle’s main argument in the first part of the book is dat onze Interactions with robots dat SIMULATE emotion pose serious threats to our ability to relate to one Another Properly. If a robot kan fool a human JSON thinking dat it cares, als in fact it does not, the human is being deceived. Turkle discusses verschillende robots zoals Cog, Kismet, and Paro, welke port leg designed to interact with humans on an emotional level and to convincingly SIMULATE language, perceptual awareness and even interpersonal intimacy. Turkle worries dat synthesis robots will ultimately replace humans or other animals as pets and caregivers. She offers many significant examples welke tonen dat even personen who arnt be acutely aware of the emotional dearth or robotic Interactions (like robotic programmers) are actually Surprisingly vulnerable to believing dat ze port emotionally meaningful Interactions with hun technologische creations. Because robots can not save feel real emotions (for the present), they ‘are designed to replicate humans as closely linked as skies. Turkle is Concerned dat we attribute of or in certainement qualities to robots dat the robots do not in fact possess, and therein our emotional Interactions with other humans Become eroded as a direct result. A salient example therein Turkle uses to Illustrate this is dat or AIBO a little robot dog dat has the ability to mature and adapt. Turkle expands on verschillende cases where children and even adults harbor formally intimate, emotional bonds with hun specify AIBO. Her point is dat many of These people we knew dat the cap but was not “real” but behandeld it if it ulcers real. The implications of this are grave Because it Means dat we are deceiving ourselves and Letting technology rule our emotions. For example, one of the children stated therein als have been keeping a bath day he just turns the AIBO off. This sense of instant gratification and emotional-playing is what worries Turkle if it is a foreshadowing of what was to come with the rise of Al Turkle ook talks about a sex robot named Roxxxy who is designed to bieden intimacy to other humans. This too is frightening as it signals an age of Personalized emotions and instantaneous gratification through technology. More About, if the intimacy or intercourse kan be adequately simulated by a robot, Turkle is Concerned dat our appreciation for genuine, face to face, human interaction nov Become eroded.

Shifting in-person social dynamic

The second part of the book gekeken the nature or online Social Interactions, and the way in welke social media has changed how people, bijzonder Younger people, connect with one Another. It Negatively Influences the social dynamic-when in-person meetings harbor Distractions and-when people are aware dat ze are constantly connected after the interaction has ended. For example, when students in class are not entirely “present” Because they ‘are distracted with Facebook or other social media outlets. Similarly, people in interpersonal social situations are of or in distracted at hun phones, welke Turkle argues Causes Them to pay insufficient attention to one Another. She is met name Concerned dat young people, who are of or in the musts deeply immersed in new technologies, goods are getting more shallow Interactions with one Another. Not only does this degrade actual human-to-human interaction, it’ll be has had a profound impact on today’s teenagers. The current adolescent generation is so Addicted to the Internet and mobile devices therein teenagers port linked hun emotional statements to how hun friends on social media respondents to them. Furthermore, the degradation of human to human Interactions through toenemende use of social media and other technologische Means of communication lead to Increased examples of emotional Bullying and inability to under stand how much your words hurt other people. Turkle cites examples of high school students admitting to posting very cruel comments about hun friends and ostracizing hun Classmates without even realizing how much it hurt Could port Them, all Because technology made Them physically and emotionally detached from the victims. The Absence of physical proximity is an important aspect of this detachment. Teenagers harbor Become as Reliant on friends ‘support or advice, they’ do not take time to reflect on themselves and, THUS, harbor Become very collaborative and less independent.

The afschrijvingen or privacy

Turkle talks about the nature of privacy in the post 9/11 world where privacy got sacrificed in exchange for safety and guarantee to Avoid Another tragedy like 9/11. On Despite this book-keeping leg written voordat the Revelations about the breadth or NSA cyber spying programs, many or re arguments Anticipate contemporary concerns with the way in welke our sense of privacy ‘may be imperiled in the modern world due to the development of technology and to the temptation to monitor private communications tussen personen to Avert public safety threats. More About, Because they ‘port grown up as part of a world in welke privacy regarded as getting more tenuous, children do not always appreciate the full value of privacy, welke in turn Causes Them to share even more personal details on the web. This remit depreciates the value of privacy in a self-perpetuating cycle. However Turkle does mention dat since no action or comment kan be Kept private Anymore, people harbor developed a sense of self-control, similar to the prisoners in Panopticon, who do not know Whether they ‘are being watched or not, so they’ dévelop a habit or always being one hun best behavior. If people find it getting more s difficult to keep anything off the indestructible book dat is internet, they ‘discipline themselves to Avoid doing something they’ will regret.

Presented at TED

Turkle watch a TED talk on the subject of the book in February 2012, under the title “Connected, but alone?” [9] Points from re talc echo Those in the book: 1. The communication technologies not only change what people do, but ook changes who they ‘are. 2. People are ontwikkelingslanden problems in Relating to eachother, Relating to themselves, en hun capacity for self-reflection. 3. People using prosthesis devices excessively Expect more from technology and less from eachother. Technologies are being designed therein will give people the illusion of companionship without the Demands of friendship. 4. The capacity for being alone is not being cultivated. Being alone Seems to be interpreted as an illness dat needs to be cured Rather dan a comfortable state of solitude with many uses. 5. Traditional conversation has bepaald way to mediated connection, leading to the loss or Valuable interpersonal skills.

The reasons for this are, volgens to Turkle, dat synthesis technologies promise us three gratifying fantastic: 1) dat we kunnen well our attention Wherever we want to help, 2) dat als we’re connected, we will always be overheard and 3) dat we ‘ll never harbor to be alone. Technology Promises us simplicity whereas human relationships and Interactions are hard and complex. People want to be in control of hun attention and affections. Turkle calls this desire the “Goldilocks Effect’-we for our relationships, the amount of attention therein is required or us, etc.-not to be too much or to little, but just right. Technology seemingly kunnen us to be just that.


  • Psychoanalytic Politics: Jacques Lacan and Freud ‘s French Revolution (1978) ISBN 0-89862-474-6
  • The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (1984). ISBN 0-262-70111-1
  • Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995) (paperback ISBN 0-684-83348-4 )
  • Evocative Objects: Things We Think With , (Ed.), MIT Press (2007). ISBN 0-262-20168-2
  • Falling for Science: Objects in Mind , (Ed.), MIT Press (2008). ISBN 978-0-262-20172-8
  • The Inner History of Devices , (Ed.), MIT Press (2008). ISBN 978-0-262-20176-6
  • Simulation and Its Discontents , MIT Press (2009). ISBN 978-0-262-01270-6
  • Alone Together , Basic Books (2011). ISBN 978-0-465-01021-9
  • Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age , Penguin Press (2015). ISBN 978-1-594-20555-2

Papers and reports

  • Sherry Turkle, Will Taggart, Cory D. Kidd, and Olivia Daste. (December 2006). ” Relational Artifacts with Children and Elders: The complexiteit or Cybercompanionship ,” Connecting Science , 18 (4): 347-361.
  • Sherry Turkle, (July 2006). ” A nascent Robotics Culture: New Complicities for companionship ,” AAAI Technical Report Series.
  • Sherry Turkle. (January 1996). ” Who Am We?: We are moving from Modernist calculation toward postmodernist simulation, where the self is a multiple, distributed system ,” Wired Magazine , Issue 4.01 January 1996.


  • Liz Else, Sherry Turkle. “Living online: I’ll port to ask my friends” , New Scientist , issue 2569, 20 September 2006 (interview; subscription needed for full article)
  • Colbert Report, Jan. 17th, 2011.
  • Fischetti, M. (2014). THE Networked primates. Scientific American , 311 (3). 82-85. [3]

Awards and receptacles

Turkle is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, the Harvard Centennial Medal, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Turkle has bone named “woman of the year” by Ms. Magazine and among the “forty under forty” who are changing the nation at Esquire .

In June 2016, Turkle RECEIVED an honorary doctorate degree from Concordia University . [10]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Henderson, Harry. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology . 2009. p. 482 .
  2. Jump up^ Turkle, Sherry. MIT Profile
  3. Jump up^ [1]
  4. Jump up^ [2]
  5. Jump up^ Turkle, Sherry; Papert, Seymour (1992). “Epistemological Pluralism and Revaluation of the Concrete” . Journal of Mathematical Behavior . 11 (1).
  6. Jump up^ Sherry Turkle on Being Alone Together, Moyers & Company, October 18, 2013
  7. Jump up^ “The Second Self”
  8. Jump up^ Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet . New York.
  9. Jump up^ Turkle, Sherry. “Connected, but alone?”
  10. Jump up^


  • Meneses, J. (2006). Ten Years of (Everyday) Life on the Screen: A Critical Re-reading of the Proposal or Sherry Turkle