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The Cost of Making External Memory Aids Too Often

Have you ever had something important that you should not forget about it? What do you do to always remember it? Do you engrave it in your mind? Or do you make a note about it? Most likely you’ll do the latter. After all, we are forgetful beings, and so we make external memory aids to help us remember important things. For Art Markman, however, this kind of practice comes at a cost.

It takes time to write out a note (or to put my keys in the refrigerator). It takes organization to make sure that notes you keep are available when you need them.
An interesting question is whether people are good at determining when they should use an external memory aid. That is, do they weigh the costs of using an aid against the benefits in a way that takes into account their actual likelihood of being wrong?

Check out more details about the study over at Psychology Today.

(Image Credit: RitaE/ Pixabay)


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I have in my pocket, a device that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers. And also to make notes and reminders for things I need to do as I run around all day doing the work of three people. Lately, I'm using it more and more for the notes piece and I don't know if it's because of the points in the article, or because I'm just getting older. Or maybe it's too much bourbon. Think I'll just accept the risk.
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