Google Effect Affecting Your Memory: Reports

How many times have you turned to your faithful, ‘ever so right’ computer to find answers to the most basic questions, okay maybe, slightly trickier questions? If you find yourself turning in too often, then you may be suffering from the Google Effect. Well! That’s not us, but a report on the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) weekly journal, Science. According to the report drafted by the AAAS researchers, internet (symbolized by Google) is replacing people’s own bank of information – memory. 

You have the Google Effect, too?

You have the Google Effect, too? (Image credit:


The research further revealed, and plunked a lot of blame on the hugely popular existence of ‘search engines’. In fact, a common observation would reveal that people are now replacing the word ‘search’, with ‘Google’. You now, usually ‘Google’ up something on the internet, instead of relying on your memory, or referring to a book. To better put their findings down, the researchers put a sample of individuals under a series of tests. The individuals were posed with a set of questions based on various themes, and were asked to type the answers to those on the given computer. It was found that when asked the same questions verbally, most of them couldn’t recollect the answers. Some stated that they didn’t find the need to recollect because they believed the answer to be stashed away in the computer.


However, there is a visible pattern noted, too. The ones who thought that the information they entered wouldn’t be retained in the systems for them to go back to, showed better retention capacities than those who presumed that the information is retained and hence, it was unnecessary to store the additional data on themselves. In a report in The Telegraph, according to the researcher, Betsy Sparrow also believes that the dawn of Internet didn’t deplete our memory reserves, only modified it. She added that people just believed more in stacking additional information on their computers, and just off loaded their own memory reserves.

Published Date: Jul 18, 2011 04:39 pm | Updated Date: Jul 18, 2011 04:39 pm