Strategic Memory in The Information Age: The 'Google Effect' in Younger and Older Adults.
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We are currently living in a technology fuelled world. We can access information almost instantly through the use of smartphones and the internet meaning we are permanently online. If we need to find out the score in a football match, the name of a pop star or the capital of a country we can access our smartphones or laptops instantly to find out the answer. With search engines such as Google, the Internet has become an external memory source that we can access at any time and we have a tendency to forget information that can be accessed online. This is known as the ‘google effect’. The study looks to replicate the findings of Sparrow et al.(2011) that when people expect to have later access to information they will have lower rates of recall of the information but instead have enhanced recall of where to access it. We also looked to test the claim from Sparrow et al.(2011) that human memory is adapting to the advent of new computing and communication technology by investigating episodic memory search processes. Additionally, the study investigated contrasts between younger and older participants as episodic memory typically declines with age and older adults did not grow up with the availability of technology that there is today. Also, the study tested the theory that older adults tend to rely on more gist encoding then item-specific encoding.