February 14, 2013
We remember Facebook posts much better than sentences from books or actual faces.
BOB HIRSHON (host):
A memory for Facebook. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Seemingly trivial Facebook posts – about what someone had for breakfast, for instance – may be more memorable than sentences from books or even faces. This according to experimental psychologist Laura Mickes, of the University of California, San Diego and the University of Warwick in England. She and her colleagues had volunteers try to memorize and recall hundreds of real Facebook posts, photos of faces, and sentences from newly released books on Amazon.com. By far, they remembered the Facebook posts the best.
LAURA MICKES (University of California San Diego):
The most exciting and interesting thing about this was to see how memorable the Facebook posts were; we tested it again and again and again and it replicates, and it’s very robust.
She suspects it’s their similarity to casual, spoken language that allows the Facebook posts to remain on peoples’ minds longer than highly edited written language. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.