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Internet can make you doubt your knowledge

Washington: A recent study has revealed that people are less willing to rely on their knowledge and say they know something when they have Internet access.

In a research conducted by the University of Waterloo that was lead by Professor Evan F. Risko, 100 participants were asked a series of general-knowledge questions.

For half of the study, participants had access to the Internet. They had to look up the answer when they responded that they did not know the answer. In the other half of the study, participants did not have access to the Internet.

The researchers found out that that the people, who had access to the web were about 5 per cent more likely to say that they did not know the answer to the question. Furthermore, in some contexts, the people with access to the Internet reported feeling as though they knew less compared to the people without access.

Lead researcher Risko said that with the ubiquity of the Internet, people are almost constantly connected to large amounts of information and when that data is within reach, they seem less likely to rely on their own knowledge.

He added that their results suggest that access to the Internet affects the decisions they make about what they know and don’t know.

The research is published in the Journal ‘Consciousness and Cognition.’ (ANI)