Definitively Not( James )


A 2015 study explored an interesting phenomenon: People that use web search tools to find data conflate information they find online with their own knowledge. This lead to increased self-assessed knowledge and even in unknown domains or areas of study - even when trying to answer something, searching, and getting zero results.

Part of this is because learning, knowledge, and memory are closely related. The process by which we shift memories from “short term” to “long term” memory is referred to as consolidation. This process is when we’re most susceptible to having our memories “rewritten” natrually, as described by Daniella Schiller. It’s possible that search engines have become ubiquitous in our lives as a transactive memory partner - we receive information and then quickly re-remember the information as being our own.

This isn’t new to the internet, though. Memory and knowledge is not exact - mistaking outsourced knowledge for internal knowledge also happens when part of integrated social environments. In a 1995 study, cockpit crews often conflated knowledge from another member as their own knowledge once it had been communicated to them.

If you’d like to subject yourself similarily to the study & conflate internet information with your own knowledge: Why are there jokers in a deck of cards?