Taking pictures may impair memories
People who take a picture, rather than enjoying the moment, are less likely to remember it, according to a study published in Psychological Science. Researchers say the mind’s eye and the camera’s eye are not the same.
For the study, researchers set up an experiment in the Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Participants were given a tour of the museum and asked to focus on certain objects. Some people were asked to examine them closely, and others were asked to take a picture. The following day, the participants were asked to pick out the objects and describe them.
They found that those who had photographed the objects had more trouble identifying them and could not answer as many questions about details of the objects, compared to the people who had looked more closely at them.
Researchers say when people rely on technology to remember things for them, they don’t pay as much attention themselves, which has a negative impact on how well they remember the experience. Further research will include objects in which the participants are personally interested. That could reduce the effect of taking photos.