10 Weird Things Caught on Security Cameras
The Weird Thing Your Camera Does To Your Memory
For a holiday season you’ll truly remember, leave the camera in the drawer. A new study inPsychological Sciencesays snapping a photo results in a less-detailed memory of that moment worth capturing.
Sounds pretty counter-intuitive, right? It’s all thanks to the "photo-taking impairment effect", which researchers from Fairfield University found as the reason why participants in one study remembered fewer objects and details of the items they photographed. They were also less accurate at recognizing something they snapped just the day before.
Whipping out your smartphone to take a photo is almost as mindless as it gets. But what happens to that picture after you take it? We're betting it joins the hundreds of others eating up storage space—which researchers say means you actually rely on technology to remember the moment for you. "It’s as if they click the button to take the photo and mentally think 'Done, next thing,'" says study author Linda Henkel, PhD, professor of psychology at Fairfield University. "They don’t engage in the processing that would lead to long term memory."
But there’s a twist: in a second study, participants who zoomed in on a detail were able to recall more—not just the detail, but the entire object. "This shows how the camera and the mind’s eye are not the same," says Dr. Henkel. "The camera is a mechanical device, where the human brain is much more complex, and they code experiences differently."
It's still fine to capture your niece’s face on Christmas morning. But photos are not a substitute for reality, says Dr. Henkel. If you really want to remember that moment, don’t let those photos sit on your phone unnoticed. “Look at the photos days, weeks, even months later,” she suggests.
Video: 10 Weird Things Caught on Security Cameras
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