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The Google Effect: Are our memories getting lazy?

Do you see yourself using the Internet to look up things you swear you already know? You're not alone. A new study suggests Americans don't take the time to remember things like they used to.

Google does it all. The search engine answers life's biggest or most basic questions.

"How to tie a tie," said IT manager Tyler Martin. "Sadly, I had to look that up there other day."

Martin knows the ins and outs of computers. The computer whiz safeguards networks. He's the first to admit Google is quickly becoming his source for knowledge.

"If I didn't have Google, I don't know what I would do," said Martin. "I'm not going to go to an encyclopedia."

Martin isn't alone. A Columbia University study found people are more likely to look up information on the Internet and are more likely to remember where they found it rather than the actual information itself. Researchers dubbed it the "Google effect."

"It does affect [some people's] ability to reason," said Dr. Richard Hudiburg.

Hudiburg is the Chairman of the University of North Alabama's Psychology Department. He sees the Google effect as a positive and a negative. On one hand, the amount of information you can find is limitless. On the other, you better know how to accurately find what you're looking for.

"The jobs of today or the next decade are going to expect a level of sophistication in utilizing information," said Dr. Hudiburg.

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