Taking Pictures to Remember May Help You Forget: Page 2

Taking a picture to remember a work of art? Best to just take a good look.
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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.

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"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 organization 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."

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