People nowadays are increasingly believing they have more familiarity with various topics and are thus more articulate and all around intelligent upon using the internet to search about these various topics (Goddu et al., 2015). This is all a terrible mistake that has already become a huge problem. It is a mistake because people are indeed not as intellectual as they believe themselves to be. An illusion is created after one uses the internet to become acquainted with new information. The illusion being, people mistake information they access from the internet as their own personal understanding on the information (Goddu et al., 2015).
What is this study about?
With the creation and steady growth of the internet comes the results of its intended purpose, people being able to access and spread information more quickly (Leiner et al., 1997). However, there is an emergence of some adverse effects, such as the inflation in the estimates of knowledge, specifically personal knowledge. This is what Goddu, Fisher, and Keil formulated their study about, the internet & the increase of internal knowledge. More specifically, Goddu, Fisher, and Keil wanted to perform a study that supported their educated guess, that the internet does in fact stir pseudo confidence in what one believes they actually know (Goddu et al., 2015). They ultimately composed a fifteen-page article at the end of their study about detailing their project amongst other things including how they did their experiment and their findings. The article talks about how the internet is the largest repository of human knowledge and makes vast information easily available to people’s mind (Sparrow et al., 2011). The internet’s availability then becomes people’s start and stop point in regard to seeking information. Alluding, that they are more than likely to not go anywhere else but the internet when seeking information. What is found through the internet then becomes a part of one’s transactive memory system, a mechanism through which groups collectively encode, store, and retrieve knowledge (Hollingshead, 2001). This memory system has two elements; the external memory as in “who knows what?” & “who has the answers?” and internal memory as in “what you know?” & your own answer. However, what is found online stays apart of the external memory only (Giuliano, Hertel, & Wegner, 2001). It does not stay in the internal memory and that is because with internet’s main features, which are its accessibility, expertise, and quickness, it leaves little responsibility for the internal knowledge, which is held by the internal memory, to retain what is learned (Bellovin, 2007). There is a habitual crave to run World Wide Web to find the answers whenever it is of demand.
Now of course, before Goddu, Fisher, and Keil got into the main course of their project, and as all good experimenters do in trying to uncover support for their claim, they formed a hypothesis. Their hypothesis was that, if their subjects that are to use internet to search for information then upon using the internet it will lead to them having high self-assessed knowledge (Goddu et al., 2015) This high self-assessment will reinforce Goddu, Fisher, and Keil’s claim as their subjects will mistakenly believe they truthfully know the material. Without the internet, would the subjects truly assess themselves as actually knowing the material? With the internet, would the subjects falsely assess themselves as knowing the material? That is what Goddu, Fisher, and Keil are trying to find through their project. Nevertheless, there is arguably more to uncover, such as if the internet inflates the knowledge of every person who uses the internet and/or is the inflation prevalent in only a specific group(s).