Study: Taking Photos Impairs Your Memory


When you take a photo, do you remember the moments as they were happening at all? According to a study called “Point-and-Shoot Memories: The Influence of Taking Photos on Memory for a Museum Tour” done by Fairfield University, the answer is no. The study shows that taking images actually causes what the New York Times cites as “photo-taking-impairment effect.”

According to the study, groups were given digital cameras when taking a tour around an art museum, they were instructed to take photos of certain objects and observe others without taking photos. The study concluded that taking photos impaired their memory of the objects because their mind was too busy taking a photo–however their memory wasn’t affected if they were told to zoom in on a specific area.

Further conclusions stated that memories were totally intact if they didn’t take photos of the object.

Though this is only one study, it makes a lot of sense considering that our society is spending so much time taking photo after photo and many times doesn’t get the shot right to begin with.

On a personal level though, we can relate. We test lots of cameras here and sometimes have cameras with us at events that we go to. When you’re too busy taking photos, you tend to only concentrate on getting the shot as best as you can. Otherwise, everything else gets filtered out.

Via On Taking Pictures