Why we seem to forget information easily


Google Effect

, explained.

What is the Google Effect?

“Digital amnesia” is another term that was used to describe this effect. A study conducted in 2011 by Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, and Daniel M. Wegner found that we tend to forget information if we know it’s easy to find with any search engine.

Why does it happen?

Technology is so integral in our lives that the way our memories work has changed. The reason behind this effect was first introduced as being a form of transactive memory, or the development of a group mind, but this claim has been criticized over the years. “Digital amnesia” is another term that was used to describe this effect and was introduced by Kaspersky Lab in a survey conducted in 2015. The survey revealed that the Google effect can be extended beyond general facts and include personal information as well.


In the study conducted by Sparrow et al., students were asked to type multiple pieces of information on a computer. Some participants were told the information would be saved, while others were told it would be erased. The participants that though the information would be stored were less likely to remember the information.