Photographing every single life event may lessen your ability to recall details from memory, a small new study suggests. When subjects relied on their cameras to 'remember' for them in a museum, they didn't recall their experiences as well as when they simply observed...
...Findings showed that subjects had trouble remembering the objects they photographed, something Henkel describes as "photo-taking impairment effect."
"When people rely on technology to remember for them -- counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves -- it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences," she explains.
Researcher Linda Henkel of Fairfield University in Connecticut took university students on a guided museum tour and asked them to observe some objects and photograph others. The results of the study are interesting:
'If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects’ locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them.'
Other findings from the study also revealed an exception:
'However, when participants zoomed in to photograph a specific part of the object, their subsequent recognition and detail memory was not impaired, and, in fact, memory for features that were not zoomed in on was just as strong as memory for features that were zoomed in on.'