Google Is Making Us All Dumber

Posted: July 15, 2011 in US News

Sajid Farooq
NBC Bay Area
July 15, 2011

Struggling to remember street names or basic math? Blame Google.

A new study by Columbia University psychologists does just that. A new type of amnesia, called the Google Effect, is impacting how humans remember facts because we rely too much on search engines to remember small details or facts.

The study finds that when we know where to find information online, we are less likely to remember it or recall that information. Instead we just rely on a quick Google or Yahoo search.

But the authors are quick to point out that the study does not prove search engines are making us dumber.

“We’re not thoughtless empty-headed people who don’t have memories anymore,” the study’s lead psychologist Betsy Sparrow Sparrow told the San Jose Mercury News. “But we are becoming particularly adept at remembering where to go find things. And that’s kind of amazing.”

Instead the study suggests that human memory is reorganizing how it retrieves information.


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