Internet search engines cause poor memory, scientists claim


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Widespread use of internet search engines and databases such as Google and to find information is making people lose their memory, scientists claim.

Researchers found increasing number of users relied on their computers as a form of external memory as frequent use of online information libraries "wired" human brains.

The study, examining the so-called "Google effect", found people had poor recall of knowledge if they knew where answers to questions were easily found.

The scientists from Columbia University, in New York, found people were increasingly bypassing discussions with friends to use the internet as their main source of information.

Experts blamed the findings, published online in this week in the journal Science, on popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and databases such as Wikipedia and, the movie information site founded in Britain.

Prof Betsy Sparrow, who led the study, said such web tools were making information easy to forget and that if people could not find answers immediately it could feel like "going through withdrawal".

We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems, said Prof Sparrow, from Columbia's psychology department.

We have become dependent on them to the same degree we are on all the knowledge we gain from our friends and coworkers and lose if they are out of touch.

"Human memory is adapting to new communications technology."
She added: "We're not thoughtless empty-headed people who don't have memories anymore. But we are becoming particularly adept at remembering where to go find things. And that's kind of amazing."

Roddy Roediger, a psychologist at Washington University who was
also involved in the study, added: "Why remember something if I know I can look it up again? In some sense, with Google and other search engines, we can off-load some of our memory demands onto machines."

In the study, titled Google Effects on Memory: Consequences of having information at our Fingertips, the researchers undertook four experiments involving student volunteers.

They firstly asked 46 students from the Harvard, the Ivy League university, a series of true-false questions based on trivia such as, An ostrichs eye is bigger than its brain before showing them words in different colours.

When the words could be linked to the internet, students responded more slowly and admitted they were contemplating searching for the answers on the web.

Another 60 students were then given 40 statements to type on a computer before being told that the information would either be saved or erased.

They discovered that people who believed the data would be saved were less likely to remember.

Another experiment involved 28 undergraduates from Columbia who were asked trivia questions. They were allowed to take notes and the researchers found they too struggled to remember information that would be saved.

Finally a further 34 Columbia students remembered where they stored their information in folders on their computers better than they were able to recall the information itself.

Prof Sparrow admitted it remained unclear what the effects of being so wired will be on people over the coming years.
She said the Internet had replaced a person's circle of friends where people would traditionally look for information.
"(They) did not make the effort to remember when they thought they could later look up the trivia statement they had read," she said.
"It may be no more than nostalgia at this point, however, to wish we were less dependent on our gadgets.
"(It shows) we must remain plugged in to know what Google knows."

Prof Sparrow said the idea for the study came as she watched the 1944 movie "Gaslight" one night with her husband and, after wondering who the actress was who played the maid, turned to her computer and Googled it.

The maid was thescreen debut of an 18 year-old Angela Lansbury, the British actress.


MPA (400+ posts)
کمپیوٹر، انٹرنیٹ سے یادداشت متاثر


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ایک نئی سائنسی تحقیق میں کہا گیا ہے کہ کمپیوٹر اور انٹرنیٹ انسانی یادداشت کے صلاحیت کو متاثر کر رہے ہیں۔یہ تحقیق سائنسی جریدے جنرل سائنس میں شائع ہوئی ہے۔تحقیق میں یہ معلوم ہوا ہے کہ نفسیاتی تجربات سے یہ بات سامنے آئی ہے کہ جب لوگوں کے سامنے مشکل سوالات پیش کیے گئے تو ان کے جواب کے لیے وہ کمپیوٹر کے بارے میں سوچنے لگے۔جن افراد پر اس تحقیق کے دوران تجربہ کیا گیا تھا انہیں یہ پتہ تھا کہ سوالات کے جواب کمپیوٹر پر موجود ہیں۔ انہیں ان سوالات کے جواب نہیں معلوم تھے لیکن یہ معلوم تھا کہ کمپیوٹر میں جواب کہاں محفوظ کیے گئے ہیں۔تحقیق میں کہا گیا ہے کہ چیزیں یاد رکھنے کے لیے ہم ٹرانزیکٹو میموری پر انحصار کرتے ہیں یعنی یادداشت کا کام دماغ کے علاوہ کوئی اور کررہا ہے جو کام پہلے یادداشت کرتی تھی اب وہ کام کمپیوٹر کر رہا ہے۔کولمبیا یونیورسٹی کے بیٹسی سپیرو جنہوں نے یہ تحقیق کی ہے ان کا کہنا ہے کہ ٹرانزیکٹیو میموری کا مطلب ہے کہ دماغ کے علاوہ یاد داشت کے کام کوئی اور ذرائع کر رہے ہیں۔ڈاکٹر سپیرو کا کہنا ہے کہ مجھے لگتا تھا کہ انٹرنیٹ ہمارے لیے چيزیں یاد رکھنے کا کام کررہا ہے اور اسی بات کو یقینی بنانے کے لیے یہ تجربہ کرنا چاہتا تھا۔ان کا مزید کہنا تھا کہ تحقیق میں معلوم ہوا ہے کہ جن معلومات کے بارے میں ہمیں یہ پتہ ہے کہ وہ آن لائن موجود ہیں ہم انہیں یاد نہیں رکھتے ہیں اور انہیں کمپیوٹر میں محفوظ کرلیتے ہیں۔رسرچ میں کہا کیا گیا ہے کہ اب ہم صرف یہ یاد رکھتے ہیں کہ معلومات ہمارے کمپیوٹر میں کہاں محفوظ کی گئی ہیں تاہم یہ یاد نہیں رکھتے کہ معلومات ہیں کیا۔