First of all: no! No, this isn’t an Internet is making us dumber-study. The title of the press release is making it a bit too spectacular: “Cognitive offloading: How the Internet is increasingly taking over human memory.” The study actually confirms previous work by Sparrow et al: our memory – or rather how we use our memory – is changing in the way that we learn how to use the internet as a kind of external, additional memory when it’s present. In this way the study tells us more about behavior, rather than about how our memory works as the real result is that using a certain method for fact finding has a marked influence on the probability of future repeat behavior.
The present results suggest that using the Internet as an information source influences the extent to which a person uses the Internet as an information…
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