Wil je iets beter onthouden? Neem er dan geen foto van!

4 Jan

In klassen waarin tablets en iPads worden gebruikt zie je vaak dat jongeren gewoon een foto nemen van de informatie die op het bord staat in plaats van de informatie zelf op papier te noteren. Zelf doe ik dat ook geregeld wanneer er tijdens een nascholing of lezing een interessante slide wordt getoond. Handig is dit in elk geval wel maar of het ook een efficiënte methode is om informatie te verwerken wordt door een recente studie die ik via @JelleJolles ontdekte deels in vraag gesteld. Daarin wordt immers aangetoond dat als je een foto neemt om iets beter te onthouden dit er net voor kan zorgen dat je soms iets minder goed onthoudt!


Taking a picture to help you remember something might end up having the opposite effect, according to new research.

A study released this week showed that people who took photographs of items during a museum tour were less likely to remember details than those who merely looked at the objects.

That is a lesson for a world growing accustomed to instant photo-sharing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, says psychological scientist Linda Henkel of Fairfield University, Connecticut.

“People so often whip out their cameras almost mindlessly to capture a moment, to the point that they are missing what is happening right in front of them,” says Henkel, author of the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science.

Henkel set up an experiment in the university’s museum, in which students were led on a tour and were asked to take note of certain objects, either by photographing them or by simply observing them.

The next day, their memory for the objects was tested – and participants were less accurate in recognising the items they had photographed compared to those they had only observed.

Henkel called this the “photo-taking impairment effect.”

“When people rely on technology to remember for them – counting on the camera to record the event and thus not needing to attend to it fully themselves – it can have a negative impact on how well they remember their experiences,” she says.

The mind’s eye

A second group offered a slight variation on the findings: those taking a photograph of a specific detail on the object by zooming in on it with the camera seemed to preserve memory for the object, not just for the part that was zoomed in on but also for the part that was out of frame.

“These results show how the ‘mind’s eye’ and the camera’s eye are not the same,” Henkel says, adding that memory research indicates taking pictures can help people remember, but only if they take time to observe and review.

An over-abundance of pictures might make that harder.

“Research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organisation of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them,” says Henkel.

“To remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”

Bron: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/12/11/3909455.htm

Abstract van het onderzoek

Two studies examined whether photographing objects impacts what is remembered about them. Participants were led on a guided                     tour of an art museum and were directed to observe some objects and to photograph others. Results showed a photo-taking-impairment effect: If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects’ locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them. However, when participants zoomed in to photograph a specific part of the object, their subsequent recognition and detail memory was not impaired, and, in fact, memory for features that were not zoomed in on was just as strong as memory for features that were zoomed in on. This finding highlights key differences between people’s memory and the camera’s “memory” and suggests that the additional attentional and cognitive processes engaged by this focused activity can eliminate the photo-taking-impairment effect.

Point-and-Shoot Memories – The Influence of Taking Photos on Memory for a Museum Tour
Linda A. Henkel, Fairfield University



2 Reacties to “Wil je iets beter onthouden? Neem er dan geen foto van!”

  1. Pedro 7 januari 2014 bij 10:50 am #

    Dit is op X, Y of Einstein? herblogden reageerde:
    Interessant stuk, deed me denken aan dit: http://xyofeinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/onze-google-hersens-kunnen-niet-meer-goed-onthouden-maar-wel-goed-terugvinden/

    • Moi 8 januari 2014 bij 10:35 pm #

      Daar gaat de uitdrukking “een beeld zegt meer dan duizend woorden” 😦

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