Eyes are better at mental snapshots than cameras, study suggests

CNN:

I’ve got hundreds of photos from my recent Europe trip, split between a smartphone and a big camera. A lot are shots of the same thing — my attempt to get the perfect lighting on a fountain or a cathedral, for example — so that I’ll have these scenes to remember always.

So I was interested to read a new study in the journal Psychological Science suggesting that the act of taking photos may actually diminish what we remember about objects being photographed.

“People just pull out their cameras,” says study author Linda Henkel, researcher in the department of psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut. “They just don’t pay attention to what they’re even looking at, like just capturing the photo is more important than actually being there.”

At the same time, she found that zooming in on objects helps preserve people’s memory of them, beyond just the detail on which they zoomed.

Henkel’s father is a photographer, so she has been hanging around photos and taking photos all her life. She wanted to see if snapping photos of objects would impact people’s memories of what they saw at a museum.

Read the whole story: CNN

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