Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Deborah Burke

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Rights Information

© 2013 Elizabeth T. Friede


Technology is currently extremely integrated with everyday life. Popular media has made bold claims that the internet is making us “dumber” and people struggle to remember information more now than they ever have in the past. Scientific research on the effect of internet search on cognition and memory is still in its infancy. This research will analyze the literature and theories discussing memory and the internet. Based on an original experiment by Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner. 20 participants (10 young adults and 10 older adults) performed a typing task with twenty trivia statements, followed by a recall and recognition memory test to look for the effects of directed forgetting and transactive memory. This experiment did not replicate the effect found in the original experiment. It calls to question if the effect of transactive memory is applicable to social relationships that only include a person and a computer.