Sunday, July 17th, 2011
Published by Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner, on the Web site of Science Magazine, and written about in the International Business Times, this study says in part, that when people rely on the internet and expect to have future access to information, they have “lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it.”
I can’t argue with the findings, I’m just not so sure that’s a bad thing. For one, specific memorization and recall of facts and other bits of information erode at least somewhat over time anyway. The aging process takes care of that, as now in my 50′s, I’m finding out. However even when I had a with a robust 30 year-old brain, I always thought that knowing where and how to find information was a better skill than being reliant on just memorization.
This reminds me of the use of spell checking and word processing in general for people with and without learning disabilities. When your brain is freed from some of the more mechanical memory-based functions of writing (spelling, for example), you can focus on the expressing your ideas, the crafting of written expression.
Granted, it’s nice when you are good at both.
Hmm, I can’t remember if this study’s been replicated.
I guess I’ll Google that.