Google makes people think they are smarter than they really are
Browsing the Internet for information gives people a false impression of their own level of intelligence.
Search engines as Google or Yahoo make people think that they are smarter than it really is. The reason is that users have access to the knowledge of the whole world via the Internet. That gives them the idea that their mind is sharper. This self-confidence in their knowledge can affect the adoption of various decisions, scientists warn.
Researchers from Yale University conducted a series of experiments on this subject. During the experiments, the participants who were looking for answers via the web instead of the traditional book reading believed that they are much smarter. The study involved more than 1,000 students. In one of the tests, one group of participants were given a link to a website, which gave the answer to the question ‘how does a zip work’. The second group was given a print-out of the same information. In the second stage, the two groups were quizzed on totally unrelated to the previous survey question: “why are cloudy nights warmer?”. Participants who had used the Internet in the first part of the experiment, felt more confident in their responses, despite the fact that this time they had no opportunity to use the network.
Frank Keil, a professor of psychology at Yale University, concluded that the cognitive effects of “being in search mode” on the internet were so powerful that people still feel smarter even when their online searches did not help.
Matthew Fisher, a leading researcher at Yale University, said that the Internet was a powerful environment where answers to any questions could be found in seconds. It’s hard to feel the distinction between own knowledge and “knowledge of the network.” When people rely only on their own knowledge, they can feel the uncertainty in the volume of their knowledge.
Scientists believe that overconfidence can be dangerous especially in areas where the decision may have wide-ranging consequences. That is why it is important to distinguish between your own knowledge and “knowledge from network”.
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