“In the current digital age, people are constantly connected to online information. The present research provides evidence that on-demand access to external information, enabled by the internet and search engines like Google, blurs the boundaries between internal and external knowledge, causing people to believe they could—or did—remember what they actually just found. Using Google to answer general knowledge questions artificially inflates peoples’ confidence in their own ability to remember and process information and leads to erroneously optimistic predictions regarding how much they will know without the internet. When information is at our fingertips, we may mistakenly believe that it originated from inside our heads.”-Adrian F. Ward, “People mistake the internet’s knowledge for their own.” PNAS. October 26, 2021 118 (43) e2105061118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2105061118
One person’s rancid garbage is another person’s Golden Corral buffet that they believe they cooked themselves.