Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips

  title={Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips},
  author={Betsy Sparrow and Jenny J W Liu and Daniel M. Wegner},
  pages={776 - 778}
Owing to Internet search, we are more likely to encode “where” aspects of memory rather than “what.” The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions… 


  • Aansumol Yohannan
  • Education
    International Journal of Engineering Applied Sciences and Technology
  • 2019
Data from scientific studies was evaluated and used to draw conclusions about these effects where appropriate, and news articles and other media were looked at to provide a rational perspective on the topics in modern society.

Generation and the Google Effect: Transactive Memory System Preference Across Age

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether preference for TMS type (either with books or with computers) varies across age groups, and an interaction between TMS preference and age was hypothesized.

‘Hey Alexa, what did I forget?’: Networked devices, Internet search and the delegation of human memory

This article examines how the authors increasingly delegate the task of memorisation to networked devices and associated applications, such as Google search, by examining not just access to information but when it is interpolated into everyday activity and how this is facilitated by voice interfaces.

The Digital Expansion of the Mind: Implications of Internet Usage for Memory and Cognition

  • E. MarshS. Rajaram
  • Computer Science
    Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
  • 2019

Information without knowledge: the effects of Internet search on learning

It is argued that, by making information retrievability salient, Internet search reduces the likelihood of information being stored in memory, thus masking the Internet-induced learning deficits.

Automaticity of Digital Accessibility in Memorization

As computers and smartphones see more widespread use in society today, multiple studies have arisen to explore their effects on learning and memory, and if they are truly as beneficial a tool as they

People mistake the internet's knowledge for their own.

  • Adrian F. Ward
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2021
Evidence is provided that on-demand access to external information, enabled by the internet and search engines like Google, blurs the boundaries between internal and external knowledge, causing people to believe they could—or did—remember what they actually just found.


This article is focused into the implications of incorporating different digital open resources in the “Memory of Links” (MoL), which represents the space of memory which needs to be allocated in the brain for storing those links.

Thinking about my amazing (photos of) vacation: On the relationship between cognition and technology

With its enormous store of information and ubiquitous use, the Internet and its users have potential to enter an intellectual partnership that influences how people process information. One possible



Depth of processing and the retention of words

SUMMARY Ten experiments were designed to explore the levels of processing framework for human memory research proposed by Craik and Lockhart (1972). The basic notions are that the episodic memory

Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence

From the Publisher: In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Clark argues that what makes humans so different from other species is our capacity to fully incorporate tools and supporting cultural practices into our

The University of South Florida free association, rhyme, and word fragment norms

The database will be useful for investigators interested in cuing, priming, recognition, network theory, linguistics, and implicit testing applications, and for evaluating the predictive value of free association probabilities as compared with other measures, such as similarity ratings and co-occurrence norms.

A Computer Network Model of Human Transactive Memory

Several of the design factors that must be considered in linking computers together into networks are also relevant to the ways in which individual human memory systems are linked into group memory

Transactive Memory Systems

The literature on transactive memory (TM) continues to grow in several interrelated scholarly fields. Although this increased interest in TM systems has been beneficial, it has also led to a

A priming methodology for studying self-representation in major depressive disorder.

The authors investigated processing of self-descriptive emotional information in depression using a modified Stroop color-naming task, finding that negative information about the self is highly interconnected in the cognitive system of depressed patients.

Natural-Born Cyborgs?

Cognitive technologies are best understood as deep and integral parts of the problem-solving systems the authors identify as human intelligence, as well as the dense, reciprocal patterns of causal and co-evolutionary influence that run between them.

Theoretical implications of directed forgetting

  • Rev . Gen . Psychol .
  • 2008