Is The ‘Google Effect’ Really Messing With Your Brain?

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Can’t remember any information until and unless you have to look it up on Google? Welcome to the world of Google Effect! Let’s dig in what it is and most importantly is the ‘Google Effect’ really messing with your brain?

The ‘Google Effect’ or ‘Digital Amnesia’ explains how people tend to use the internet as a personal memory bank. In other words, people can’t remember information without looking it up. (Defined by


As per, the advent of the internet changing the way we store information coined the term ‘Google Effect’ by Betsy Sparrow (Columbia), Jenny Liu (Wisconsin), and Daniel M. Wegner (Harvard) in their paper from July 2011. According to research, people may not retain information that they know they can easily find on the internet. However, they tend to remember where they found the information to say some websites in particular.
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The Google effect is sometimes referred to as digital amnesia. It is an overarching term that refers not only to pieces of information that can be found on the internet but also information that is accessible on digital gadgets. For example, scientists have found that fewer people retain the memory of phone numbers of friends and family now that they have a contact list.


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Earlier studies indicate that we are getting more and more primed to click on a computer rather than engaging in interpersonal intellectual communication with colleagues or friends. Subsequently, we are getting more cocooned. This phenomenon is replacing a person’s circle of friends with the Internet. Some aver that the easy availability of information on the internet is leading to ‘intellectual laziness’, making them less ‘memory-oriented’ on certain aspects. In short, the ‘Google effect’ isn’t just messing with our brains but with our social lives too.

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Himanshi Dhawan
Likes to do MUNs and speedcubing. A Shutterbug. Capable of sniffing an Atlas 24x7.

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