Googling has, arguably, made Millennials less able than any previous group of twentysomethings to retain information. Recent research suggests that they use Google as a sort of auxiliary memory. In 2011 a team of psychologists led by Betsy Sparrow of Columbia gave 60 undergrads a bunch of trivia (on the order of “an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain”) and asked them to type all forty factoids into a computer. Half were told that the file containing these facts would be accessible later; half were told the file would be erased. On a subsequent test of memory, the ones who thought everything would be erased remembered much more. When they believed their document would be saved, Sparrow found, they didn’t bother remembering it; they figured they could always find it (or, as it’s called outside the lab, Google it) when they needed to.

Does Constant Googling Really Make You Stupid? [Excerpt]: Scientific American

Notes

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    I’d like to add that Einstein is credited as saying “Never memorize what you can look up in a book.” That now extends to...
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