One with the Cloud: Why People Mistake the Internet's Knowledge for Their Own

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One with the Cloud: Why People Mistake the Internet's Knowledge for Their Own

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Title: One with the Cloud: Why People Mistake the Internet's Knowledge for Their Own
Author: Ward, Adrian Frank
Citation: Ward, Adrian Frank. 2013. One with the Cloud: Why People Mistake the Internet's Knowledge for Their Own. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The internet is a consistent presence in people's daily lives. As people upload, download, and offload information to and from this cloud mind, the line between people's own minds and the cloud mind of the internet may become increasingly blurry. Building on the theory of transactive memory, the current research uses 2 pilot studies and 6 experiments to explore the possibility that using the internet to access information may cause people to become one with the cloud--to lose sight of where their own minds end and the mind of the internet begins, and to lose track of which memories are stored internally and which are stored online. These experiments explore three key factors that may lead to blurred boundaries between the self and the cloud: accessing the internet through a familiar access point or transactive memory partner (i.e., Google), having the "feeling of knowing" that often accompanies internet search, and experiencing the "knew it all along" effect when this feeling of knowing is falsely confirmed. These factors are often present when accessing information online, and may lead people to misattribute internet-related outcomes and characteristics to the self.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11004901
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