What Is The Google Effect? That’s Why We Should Worry About It

1 Mins read

You’re talking to friends and you want to know the distance between Rome and New York. You don’t know it and then ask your smartphone. Read the answer (6,900 kilometers) and, after satisfying your curiosity, you forget about it immediately afterwards. How many times have you experienced such a scenario? This is the Google effect.

We are talking about a phenomenon that describes how the performance of our memory is lower due to easily accessible information. In short, it is so easy to get the information we need, that our brain decides to store it in a “temporary memory” that is lost in no time.

What information are we talking about? Of facts available on Wikipedia, news titles displayed by the phone, phone numbers or emails, dates and birthdays.

Several studies have established the existence of the Google effect. In one of these experiments, half of the participants were asked to read and write 40 curiosities, while the other half were told only to read these curiosities, knowing that they could re-read them when they wanted to because they were saved on the PC. Subsequently, all participants were asked to complete a memory test.

The memory test went far better for those who were told to read and write curiosities. The Google effect is an adaptive mechanism that prevents our brain from filling up unnecessary information and, according to some scientists, this mechanism could even help our brain to remember only the important things… avoiding wasting energy to remember numbers or emails

I mean, it could be definitely annoying, but one way to avoid this effect is to rely less on technology devices to remember things.

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