Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I apologize for causing your decision-making ability to deteriorate

If you're reading this, you presumably found it on the World Wide Web. (I haven't taken to posting paper copies of my writing on telephone poles.) You are using the World Wide Web to amass information. This sounds good, assuming that the information is worthwhile. But is this a good thing?

In the internet era, where we have access to a diversity of information, many pundits say humankind will learn to make more informed decisions. Whereas others suggest having so much information at our fingertips will limit our ability for concentration, contemplation and reflection.

So a test was conducted:

The scientists compared how well the volunteers faired in the three consecutive questions to see if the volunteers were actually getting better at figuring out the problems themselves or just at copying the right answers. They found that there was no improvement from one question to the next; even when individuals had realised in the first round of questions that finding the solutions required deeper thought, in the next question they were back at square one.
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