Google is developing into becoming your external hard drive of your brain. According to a latest research, the regular use of search engine and online reference materials is affecting the way users remember and collect information.
The study, guided by Betsy Sparrow at Columbia University, tested subjects in a sequence of four tests aimed at assessing how people recall pieces of trivia. The first round of trials discovered that subjects were less likely to consider something if they believed they would be able to simply retrieve it from a computer afterward. One more trial illustrated that users were able to simply keep in mind which folder of five on a computer contained the data they were asked to recover.
The incident is named transactive memory and has existed long before the Internet was a source of data. The idea clarifies that humans do not just depend on their own brains to store data rather they use other sources, like people they recognize or in this case the Internet, to grasp data that they will need to access later. The research of Sparrow concludes that nowadays, the Internet has turned into a primary place for storing data externally. “Human memory,” Sparrow said, “is adapting to new communications technology.”