Cognition trick: the Google Effect

We've developed a habit of forgetting, or declining to remember, the information that is readily available online.

The Google effect is a kind of digital amnesia that permeates this internet age. Explored by Sparrow, Liu, and Wegner, this variety of cognitive bias reveals the fascinating relationship between memory and reliance on online search engines.1 2 3 It uncovers our tendency to entrust the retrieval of information to digital repositories, affecting our knowledge retention and genuine understanding.4 “Digital amnesia” reshapes our perception of information significance, favouring accessible data over personal retention. We must contemplate the delicate balance between our reliance on technology and the profound depths of our own intellectual capacity.5

A version of this article was first published at


  1. Study Finds That Memory Works Differently in the Age of Google
  2. Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips
  3. Google effects on memory: Cognitive consequences of having information at our fingertips.
  4. Is the Google Effect Messing With Your Brain?
  5. Why do we forget information that we just looked up?