Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Katy Cook
    Pages 1-6 Open Access
  3. Psychology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Katy Cook
      Pages 9-35 Open Access
    3. Katy Cook
      Pages 37-64 Open Access
    4. Katy Cook
      Pages 65-94 Open Access
    5. Katy Cook
      Pages 95-122 Open Access
  4. Impacts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Katy Cook
      Pages 125-166 Open Access
    3. Katy Cook
      Pages 167-195 Open Access
    4. Katy Cook
      Pages 197-233 Open Access
  5. Next Steps

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 235-235
    2. Katy Cook
      Pages 237-289 Open Access
    3. Katy Cook
      Pages 291-295 Open Access
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 297-314

About this book


“A welcome journey through the mind of the world’s most influential industry at a time when understanding Silicon Valley's motivations, myths, and ethics are vitally important.” 
— Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, USA, and author of The Algebra of Happiness and The Four

"The Psychology of Silicon Valley is a remarkable story of an industry’s shift from idealism to narcissism and even sociopathy. But deep cracks are showing in the Valley’s mantra of 'we know better than you.' Katy Cook’s engaging read has a message that needs to be heard now.”
— Richard Freed, author of Wired Child

“This book offers readers a glimpse behind the "emotional scenes" as tech companies come out psychologically firing at their consumers. Unless these practices are exposed and made public, tech companies will continue to shape our brains and not in a good way.” 
- Larry D. Rosen, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Author of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World

Misinformation. Job displacement. Information overload. Economic inequality. Digital addiction. The breakdown of democracy, civility, and truth itself.

This open access book explores the conscious and unconscious norms, values, and characteristics that drive behaviors within the high-tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley, and the sector it represents. In an era where the reach and influence of a single industry has the potential to define the future of our world, it has become apparent just how little we know about the organizations driving these changes. The Psychology of Silicon Valley offers a revealing look inside the mind of world’s most influential industry and how the identity, culture, myths, and motivations of Big Tech are harming society. 

The book argues that the bad values and lack of emotional intelligence borne in the vacuum of Silicon Valley will have lasting consequences on everything from social equality to the future of work to our collective mental health. Katy Cook expertly walks us through the psychological landscape of Silicon Valley, including its leadership, ethical, and cultural problems, and artfully explains why we cannot afford to ignore the psychology and values that are behind our technology any longer.

Katy Cook is Founder and Director of the Centre for Technology Awareness. She is an expert on the intersection of technology, ethics, and psychology and holds a PhD and two MAs in psychology and modern culture studies.


Silicon Valley Tech company ethics history of Silicon Valley identity diversity in the tech industry women in tech technopaternalism hypercapitalism “free” advertising business model social impacts of technology fake news misinformation on social media impact of technology on employment gig economy wellbeing in the technology industry leadership psychology open access

Authors and affiliations

  • Katy Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Technology AwarenessLondonUK

Bibliographic information