The study of technology and the use of individual cognitive effort

(1) Skyline High School, Sammamish, WA, US
Cover photo for The study of technology and the use of individual cognitive effort
Image credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters

A trial study was performed in 2021 to investigate the link between technology and transactive memory. Transactive memory is shared knowledge in which members share the responsibility to encode, store, and retrieve certain tasks or assignments, leading to a successful and collective performance. In general, the internet has a become a popular database for individuals to use because of its ability to encode, store, and retrieve files of information for our own purposes, so our experiment wanted to test the cognitive ability of retrieving information through our memory without relying on technology. We hypothesize that a participants’ expected access to an external source affects the recall rate and retrieval of information. We asked high school students to read 20 trivia statements and observed the difference in recall rate while typing on their computers to see their conditional response by saying either the statements were saved on the computer or deleted. The use of computers is significant in testing participants who were told that the trivia statements would be deleted were more likely to remember the information than participants who were told the statements would be saved, although this result was statistically non-significant.

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