A sunset, a monument, a moment with friends. During a precious moment, many of us immediately take out our smartphones to capture this moment. To the detriment of our memory? In any case, this is the warning formulated by some researchers. They believe that take pictures constantly can alter the memory of events by forcing us to focus on the act of taking pictures rather than the moment itself.
For this study, American scientists tested the memory of 525 participants who took photos of works of art (paintings, sketches, photographs). Result? They found that the memory of details was best when no photos were taken during the visit. In view of these conclusions, the researchers, therefore, encourage living in the moment away from his camera to memorize details as much as possible.
Does taking a photo of an object improve or impair memory?
The literature is currently mixed, with some studies showing deficiencies and other studies showing improvements, “the researchers note. So far, this study has only been done on works of art.
“It is possible that the simple realization of two tasks at the same time (visualization and photography) leads to an alteration of the memory of the photographed objects”
During five experiences, the team found that the photographed art was more poorly remembered than the art that had just been seen, after a short (20 minutes) and long (48 hours) delay between viewing and recalling. “It’s possible that participants rely on the camera to remember information photographed for them, resulting in impaired memory of the information photographed, “said lead author Rebecca Lurie of Binghamton University. These findings were published in the Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.