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亚博app:There are those who google and there are those who annoy those who google. As a member of the former group, people who don’t reflexively look things up online have at best rendered me speechless and at worst left me fearing for the fate of humankind. I have, however, recently learned that those who turn to a search engine at the slightest mention of a forgotten factoid might not be all that better off.有些人用于谷歌(Google),也有些人让用于谷歌的人深感气愤。我归属于前一类人,那些会自发性在网上坎东西的人在最差的情况下只是让我语塞,在最坏的情况下不会让我为人类的命运深感惧怕。

但我最近了解到,那些只要听见有人记得了某件半真半假的事之后无可奈何搜索引擎的人,也许不一定好到哪里去。Before discussing the latest research in this area, it’s worth travelling back to 2011 when some commentators contributed to the genre of “this new technology is definitely going to ruin us this time”. That year, Betsy Sparrow of Columbia University and colleagues published an article in Science entitled “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips”, triggering starting guns for the latest existential crisis about the web.在辩论这个领域的近期研究成果之前,总结一下2011年是有一点的,当年有些评论员编写了“这次这一新技术毫无疑问将烧掉我们”一类的文章。那一年,哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)的贝琪斯帕罗(Betsy Sparrow)及其同事在《科学》(Science)杂志上发表文章,取名为《谷歌对记忆的影响:查询资讯的便捷对理解的影响》(Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips),引起了近期一场有关网络的生死存亡危机。

The researchers themselves had a positive take on their findings. Sure, the t亚博APPest subjects were bad at recalling memorable bits of trivia — such as an “ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain” — when they thought the data were being saved by a computer in front of them. And, yes, the subjects’ recall was better when they were told that the data wouldn’t be saved. But the interesting part was a separate experiment in which the trivia was saved in generically named folders such as “Facts”, “Data” and “Info”.研究者本身对他们的找到持有人积极态度。到底,当受试者指出数据正在存储转入眼前的一台电脑时,他们不擅于返回想有一点忘记的细节信息,比如“鸵鸟的眼睛比脑大”。

到底,当受试者获知数据将会被存储时,他们需要更佳地回忆起。但有意思的部分是一个分开实验,实验中信息被存储于笼统命名的文件夹里,比如“事实”、“数据”和“信息”。The participants could recall which folder a fact was in nearly half of the time, but could only recall the facts themselves 23 per cent of the time. As the researchers wrote: “These results seem unexpected on the surface, given the memorable nature of the statements and the unmemorable nature of the folder names.” Or as Dr Sparrow told the New York Times in an interview: “That kind of blew my mind.”参与者在近一半的时间里可以返回想某个事实不存在哪个文件夹里,但只在23%的时间里能返回想事实本身。

正如研究人员所写出:“鉴于事实的陈述更容易记忆、文件夹名称不更容易记忆,这一结果在表面上看或许出人意料。”或者正如斯帕罗拒绝接受《纽约时报》(New York Times)专访时所称之为的那样:“这多少有点儿让我深感愤慨。”That we remember where facts can be obtained, rather than storing the information itself, is not new. The storage systems may be books, notes, USB keys, the web — or indeed colleagues or friends. When someone interrupts you at work and says, “Hey, I’m having trouble with a deck and I heard you’re a wiz with PowerPoint,” they are using you as memory storage. And when you stare at the wall behind them and ask if they’ve googled for a solution before coming over, you are indicating an unwillingness to act as an IT helpdesk.我们记得住事实存放在的方位,而不把信息本身现金脑海,这不是新鲜事。


But those, like me, who google before asking for assistance may face an unexpected pitfall. According to research published last month by a group of Yale University academics, the mere act of using a search engine may lead us to overrate how much we know.但是,那些像我一样、在求救之前再行用谷歌搜寻的人,也许不会碰上一个意想不到的陷阱。根据上月耶鲁大学(Yale University)学者公开发表的研究结果,起码用于搜索引擎的行径就可能会造成我们低估自己的科学知识。The researchers set up a number of experiments. In most of the scenarios, half the subjects used a search engine to look up preselected topics and the other half would not. Then all the subjects were asked to rate their ability to answer questions in a totally unrelated topic area. The group that used a search engine in the first step rated themselves as significantly more able than the second group.研究人员展开了大量的实验。

在大多数情况下,一半受试者用于搜索引擎查找复赛主题,另一半没这么做到。接着所有受试者被拒绝评估自己问一个几乎牵涉到主题的问题的能力。第一步中用于了搜索引擎的人,对自己能力的评价相比之下低于另一组人。Several experiments tested for a number of obvious explanations for why this overestimation might happen. What if the first group were told exactly what to type into the search engine and the second group was shown the same article that the first group was directed to? What if both groups spent the same amount of time performing the first step? Or if the information being sought wasn’t something the web could help with? Or if no search results showed up at all? Or if different search engines were used?为了测试有关为何不会再次发生这种低估的许多显而易见的说明,还有几个实验。

如果第一组人被清楚告诉在搜索引擎里输出什么,而给第二组人看第一组人被导向的同一篇文章,不会如何?如果两组人花费完全相同时间展开第一步,不会如何?或者,如果网络对于所查找信息帮不上忙,不会怎样?如果搜寻无任何结果,不会怎样?如果用于了有所不同搜索引擎,又不会怎样?In every case, the group that had some interaction with a search engine rated themselves higher.在每种情况下,与某个搜索引擎展开了一定对话的那一组都对自己给了更高的评价。As to why this might be the case, the researchers think we might be losing track of how much the internet is relied on for instant access to information and consequently we have become “miscalibrated” with respect to our true knowledge.至于为何经常出现这种情况,研究人员指出,我们也许正在记得自己在动态获取信息方面是多么地倚赖互联网,因此我们对自己的现实科学知识作出了“错误估量”。Pending further research, this illusion of knowledge after interacting with a search engine may need to be added to the long list of common biases we already know we suffer from.以后获得更进一步的研究结果之前,与搜索引擎对话之后产生的科学知识幻觉,也许必须被加到到我们早已告诉自己深受其害的联合种族主义的长长表格。

In the meantime, it may be worth remembering this possibility the next time you use a search engine. Or, failing that, remember where you found this article.与此同时,你下次用于搜索引擎时,也许有适当忘记这一可能性。或者,若是忘了,要忘记你在哪里寻找的这篇文章。:亚博app。


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