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How Google is destroying our memories

Our ability to remember is being adapted because of the power of search engines.
Jul 16th 2011, 5:27 PM 819 7

Reproduced with permission from Business Insider

THE INTERNET, GOOGLE in particular, has made our memories fuzzy, a research report in Science Magazine says.

Thanks to the powerful search engine, information is at our fingertips.  We no longer need to rack our brains or ask friends for help recalling whatever it is we’re after.

Four studies suggest when people are asked difficult questions, they automatically think about computers.

Also, when they expect to have information readily available, their ability to retain and recall information is lower. Instead of reciting the information itself, people recall where the information can be found.

“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where information can be found,” the studies’ authors write.

Betsy Sparrow, a psychology professor at Columbia University and lead author of one of the memory studies, says this phenomenon isn’t so bad. “It’s allowing us to have access to much more external memory; our network of people is just vastly expanded,” she says.

If you want to see how your brain has been affected, read 20 Scientifically-Proven Signs You’re Smarter Than Average >

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Alyson Shontell


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