Study: Digital Cameras Are Making Our Memories Worse

Digital Cameras and MemorySocrates once feared that technology would corrupt human memory. Quaint as it sounds today, he was worried about a form of communication called writing. The more easily people could access something in a document, he reasoned, the less inclined they’d be to remember it. The great philosopher’s point rings as true in the digital age as it did in ancient Greece. Recent tests have found that people who think a computer will save their information recall much less of it than those led to believe the machine will delete it. A difficult trivia question is as likely to bring Google to mind as it is the answer. Fairfield University psychologist Linda Henkel believes something similar may be happening with digital photography. The more easily people can take and access pictures, she says, the less inclined they may be to remember the moment itself.

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