Recall by Proxy

I can remember the phone number for the pizza place at college but not what I ate for breakfast.
I can remember the phone number for the pizza place at college but not what I ate for breakfast.

There are two main ways we access memory:

  • Recognition
  • Recall

Recognition requires a simple familiarity decision. Recognition is the association of an event or physical object with one previously experienced. It involves a process of comparison of information with memory.

Recall of an item from memory requires a two-stage process; the search and retrieval of items from memory is followed by a familiarity decision where the correct information is chosen.

Recognition is usually considered to be more effective as it requires just a single process rather than two processes.

In the age of cheap, vast memory, interconnectedness, portable information devices and search engines, is recall becoming a proxy function reliant on technology rather than the brain?

Is the nature of expertise shifting from deep knowledge to the ability to access knowledge and make value judgments?

Is this really happening?

How many phone numbers can you remember now versus ten years ago?

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