Internet Use Affects Memory, Study Finds
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- The widespread use of search engines and online databases has affected the way people remember information, researchers are reporting.
The scientists, led by Betsy Sparrow, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia, wondered whether people were more likely to remember information that could be easily retrieved from a computer, just as students are more likely to recall facts they believe will be on a test.
Dr. Sparrow and her collaborators, Daniel M. Wegner of Harvard and Jenny Liu of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, staged four different memory experiments. In one, participants typed 40 bits of trivia — for example, “an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain” — into a computer. Half of the subjects believed the information would be saved in the computer; the other half believed the items they typed would be erased.
Have you even gone online, got distracted, only to forget what you were searching for in the first place?
- All the damn time. click, click, click...what was I looking for?
I've also just heard that people won't remember things if they know they can go look them up when needed. This is the same reason we couldn't use calculators in math classes back in the 70's. They wanted us to be able to do the math by ourselves.
- I read that the other day. It's scary... is the same with GPS,etc. I don't have yet Iphones or IPads but every time that I'm with someone who has it and we have a question like I can't remember the name of an actor who was in a movie, instead of brainstorming to find the solution they just check it online, I find that really frustrating. it spoils the fun! but maybe I'm just jelous because I'm not in the Iphone club. It makes me feel old and I'm only in my late 20s.
- I have been distracted from my original search on the internet a couple of times.
I think the internet does make us lazy in the "memory department". We don't need to commit information to memory because we know we can look it up again and I think this is part of the problem. The good thing about it is that we have at our fingertips the ability to look up anything and it's amazing how much information there is to wade through. Maybe it's all too much to commit to memory?
As for iphones etc, lua I hear you. I think I'm one of the few in my family that doesn't have an iphone and I think I'm going to keep it that way. I spend enough hours in front of the computer without spending any more in front of an iphone.gabby wrote:
I bet if I walked into any fast food place and they had a sudden power outage, the counter workers couldn't count back change. It's pathetic.
So true. I've seen it happen a couple of times. The maths skills of the shop assistant were dire. It was pathetic indeed Gabby.
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