For a long time, scientists have been claiming that taking notes does not really improve our memory. However, it is very interesting that our memory could be actually manipulated by taking notes. In an experiment, researchers asked a group of volunteers to complete a series of memory tasks. The experiment involved a file on a computer to save and recall a collection of words. This activity illustrates how we utilize our computers or hand-held devices to take notes. In the beginning, researchers did not view the content of those lists, but they started touching the files after three trials.
Scientists carefully appended a word to the list just before the information was retrieved. The objective was to determine whether individuals would identify a word which was not there in the beginning. Not only volunteers did not recognize that the file was manipulated, but also they were confident that the content of the list remained intact.
Volunteers reported in another test that they remembered being presented with the appended word. To be particular, they stated they believed the appended words was among their original notes. Furthermore, participants reported having heard the word which was not presented demonstrating the influence of notes creating fake memory.
“The opportunity to supplement our memory by offloading to more stable external stores has many benefits, but, at the same time, we need to have our eyes open to potential risks associated with this form of remembering. Understanding these risks will help us reap the most value from our distributed memory systems", said Evan Risko the lead author of the study.
Unsurprisingly, nobody is going to stop taking notes as it is a very effective way to avoid forgetting important things. Nevertheless, the security of the data is of significant concern according to the findings of this experiment.