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Internet Access Makes Us Doubt Our Knowledge

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:38PM

It is not uncommon for someone to pull out a smartphone or use a computer to quickly check some small fact. Is it possible that this use of the Internet is actually reducing our confidence in what we know? According to researchers at the University of Waterloo, this may just be the case.

The researchers performed a study where they asked two groups of people if they knew the answer to general-knowledge questions. One of the groups was allowed access to the Internet, and if they said they did not know the answer they were to look it up, while the other did not have access. Those in the group with Internet access were 5% more likely to report not knowing the answer, and in some cases even said they knew less than those without access.

The researchers suggest two possible answers, with the first being that Internet access makes us less acceptable for saying we know something, only to be wrong. The second is that we make choices to receive the reward of finding the answer when we do an Internet search, including doubting what we know.

Source: University of Waterloo

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NCC10281982B on December 10, 2015 02:55

I know someone who would disagree with this. But, he is also very sure of his opinions.

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