The Google effect: Internet as a personal memory bank

In “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,” Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner examine the relationship between personal memory and the use of the Internet to access information instantly.  They hypothesize that the Internet encourages individuals to “store” information outside themselves, rather memorize (or learn?) it.  In a series of experiments, researchers found that participants in their study (mostly college students) “have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.”

Fascinating stuff.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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