May 27-30, 2014
Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center
#MRMW
Organized by
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MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
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ZERO MOMENT
OF MEMORY
THE
How technology is helping & hampering memory
Nick Drew, Head of Research, Yahoo Canada
In this research study, Yahoo Canada set out to understand how technology and memory are inter-related: how
we use technol...
The first thing to understand about human memory is that it’s complex and fallible. It’s not like a video camera
or a DVD ...
So we can ‘remember’ things that we never experienced; we can be forgetful; and over time we can forget
things we previous...
Within the quant phase of this research, we administered a memory test to demonstrate the phenomenon of
forgetting – we as...
Splitting our participants into 3 groups, we tested their recall 2, 10 and 20 minutes later. Among those who saw
the test ...
Which is actually a very simple demonstration of the Forgetting Curve, a description of how we forget a lot of
detail very...
The other key thing we see when dealing with memory is that fear of forgetting is a very existential,
fundamental fear we ...
…and with the pace of modern life, we feel that it’s getting hard to keep up with everything we’re supposed to
remember an...
So we focus on improving our memory, and we take shortcuts to ensure we can remind ourselves of things, by
Technology in all its forms is a key part of this activity – we write things down, use calendars, books for
reference and ...
In the last five years we’ve seen a huge change in the tools we have to help us remember. Technology is
evolving and growi...
One of the most obvious illustrations of how the way we recall things is changing is our use of photography,
which has shi...
Not only do we take lots of photos, we no longer feel we have to even look at them: nearly 1 in 3 Canadians
said they hadn...
Arguably the smartphone, with its myriad features and abilities, is changing the way we remember more than
any other facto...
Our qualitative work included a deprivation exercise: our participants had to leave their smartphone behind for
a complete...
We’ve become inseparable from our smartphones, and not only because we use them to record details of our
day to day lives,...
Within the research we used EEG to understand what happens to the brain in different situations.
The raw output looks like this – areas of red are high electrical activity; green is the base level of brain activity.
Eac...
Within our experiment, we had two groups of subjects. The first was asked to watch a short video and pay
attention for a m...
The second group had the same task: the only difference was that they were told they could take a photo of
the video with ...
Emotional engagement is a measure of enjoyment arising from the EEG: how much the participant enjoys a
task or stimulus. T...
So we’ve seen that we rely on technology for memory shortcuts, and at a neural level we enjoy using our
smartphones. But d...
This actually isn’t a new question: 2,500 years ago, Socrates suggested that teaching people to write would
make them lazy...
From that context, we can see our modern concern is really the same worry, just updated for the technology
we have today. ...
Going back to the memory test in our quantitative survey – we saw that when tested people forgot 28% more
detail over 18 m...
We were able to break out this data by how frequently participants use their smartphones: and discovered a
correlation bet...
Returning to our EEG experiment, the other key metric we could measure was Concentration: how much
attention our subjects ...
…and those who took a photo of the video paid significantly less attention – they were more distracted – than
those who ju...
This is key, because in order to remember something well, it helps to concentrate on it. Think about cramming
for exams, o...
What we saw on testing their memory was that participants who had their photo to look at while doing the
test performed a ...
But not everyone who was asked to take a photo while watching the video was allowed to look at it – some subjects
took a p...
So technology is changing how we remember things. We use our phones to store people’s contact details, our
schedules, phot...
…and this comes with both benefits and costs. We actually remember less ourselves as a result of this activity;
but we’re ...
The results also give us some interesting insights into forthcoming developments in technology: fear of forgetting has
bec...
As we record more and more of our lives, so data organisation will evolve: after all, the data we record is only
as valuab...
The results also have important implications for marketers: after all, marketing relies upon memory, and
consumers remembe...
Building rich, engaging experiences on our mobile devices is an obvious way to encourage us to engage, at a
neural level, ...
We take photos of so much of our lives that brands can tap into this, and leverage something we already take
for granted.
And our data showed that 6 out of 10 consumers consciously try to remember ads they’ve seen online. Brands
can use targeti...
Ultimately, as consumers, we’re moving towards an ethos of “click and forget” – in how we take photos, how w
remember peop...
Title Sponsor Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
Workshop Sponsors
Association & Education Partners
Networking Reception
Sponsor
Event App
Partner
Media Partners
MRMW Chic...
May 27-30, 2014
Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center
#MRMW
Organized by
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo
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The Zero Moment of Memory - Yahoo

  1. 1. May 27-30, 2014 Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center #MRMW Organized by
  2. 2. Title Sponsor Gold Sponsors Silver Sponsors MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
  3. 3. Workshop Sponsors Association & Education Partners Networking Reception Sponsor Event App Partner Media Partners MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
  4. 4. ZERO MOMENT OF MEMORY THE How technology is helping & hampering memory Nick Drew, Head of Research, Yahoo Canada
  5. 5. In this research study, Yahoo Canada set out to understand how technology and memory are inter-related: how we use technology to help us remember more efficiently, and ultimately whether our use of devices is hampering our ability to remember. The research itself was a comprehensive multi-phase study, incorporating detailed discussions with experts from several memory-related fields; in-depth qualitative work and a deprivation exercise; a quantitative study of 1500 Canadians in English and French; and a controlled experiment utilising EEG to measure brain activity in different situations.
  6. 6. The first thing to understand about human memory is that it’s complex and fallible. It’s not like a video camera or a DVD – it’s not an indelible record of everything that happened.
  7. 7. So we can ‘remember’ things that we never experienced; we can be forgetful; and over time we can forget things we previously remembered very well, such as people or events.
  8. 8. Within the quant phase of this research, we administered a memory test to demonstrate the phenomenon of forgetting – we asked respondents to remember these details above.
  9. 9. Splitting our participants into 3 groups, we tested their recall 2, 10 and 20 minutes later. Among those who saw the test 20 minutes after seeing the stimuli, the average test score was 28% lower than among those who saw it 2 minutes after the stimuli.
  10. 10. Which is actually a very simple demonstration of the Forgetting Curve, a description of how we forget a lot of detail very quickly, and then forget incrementally less over time, first described by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885.
  11. 11. The other key thing we see when dealing with memory is that fear of forgetting is a very existential, fundamental fear we all have.
  12. 12. …and with the pace of modern life, we feel that it’s getting hard to keep up with everything we’re supposed to remember and recall.
  13. 13. So we focus on improving our memory, and we take shortcuts to ensure we can remind ourselves of things, by
  14. 14. Technology in all its forms is a key part of this activity – we write things down, use calendars, books for reference and stories, and so on.
  15. 15. In the last five years we’ve seen a huge change in the tools we have to help us remember. Technology is evolving and growing more complex and powerful, giving us access to such memory aids as Siri, Dropbox, and Google Glass.
  16. 16. One of the most obvious illustrations of how the way we recall things is changing is our use of photography, which has shifted dramatically in just one generation. In the past it was an infrequently used, valuable tool; now we take photos of our food, our pets, families, events, and ourselves.
  17. 17. Not only do we take lots of photos, we no longer feel we have to even look at them: nearly 1 in 3 Canadians said they hadn’t even looked at the last photo they took, let alone printed it out.
  18. 18. Arguably the smartphone, with its myriad features and abilities, is changing the way we remember more than any other factor or device. We use it to record and store everything, and as a prompt when we forget.
  19. 19. Our qualitative work included a deprivation exercise: our participants had to leave their smartphone behind for a complete day, and tell us about how they got on.
  20. 20. We’ve become inseparable from our smartphones, and not only because we use them to record details of our day to day lives, such as phone numbers, calendar appointments and photos.
  21. 21. Within the research we used EEG to understand what happens to the brain in different situations.
  22. 22. The raw output looks like this – areas of red are high electrical activity; green is the base level of brain activity. Each frequency and area of the brain relates to a particular kind of mental activity.
  23. 23. Within our experiment, we had two groups of subjects. The first was asked to watch a short video and pay attention for a memory test that would follow.
  24. 24. The second group had the same task: the only difference was that they were told they could take a photo of the video with their smartphone, to help them remember.
  25. 25. Emotional engagement is a measure of enjoyment arising from the EEG: how much the participant enjoys a task or stimulus. Those who were allowed to take a photo of the video enjoyed the task much more than those who just had to watch and pay attention.
  26. 26. So we’ve seen that we rely on technology for memory shortcuts, and at a neural level we enjoy using our smartphones. But does our use of tech impair our ability to remember?
  27. 27. This actually isn’t a new question: 2,500 years ago, Socrates suggested that teaching people to write would make them lazy, and mean they no longer had to make an effort to remember things.
  28. 28. From that context, we can see our modern concern is really the same worry, just updated for the technology we have today. In theory we no longer have to recall anything ourselves; we just have to remember where we put our smartphones.
  29. 29. Going back to the memory test in our quantitative survey – we saw that when tested people forgot 28% more detail over 18 minutes.
  30. 30. We were able to break out this data by how frequently participants use their smartphones: and discovered a correlation between heavier smartphone usage and forgetting more in those 18 minutes.
  31. 31. Returning to our EEG experiment, the other key metric we could measure was Concentration: how much attention our subjects paid to the stimulus (the video) when asked to watch it.
  32. 32. …and those who took a photo of the video paid significantly less attention – they were more distracted – than those who just watched the video without any other activity.
  33. 33. This is key, because in order to remember something well, it helps to concentrate on it. Think about cramming for exams, or the last conversation you had in which you were distracted…
  34. 34. What we saw on testing their memory was that participants who had their photo to look at while doing the test performed a little better, and remembered slightly more than those who hadn’t taken a picture. It figures – they had that prompt there to help them recall the details of what they’d seen.
  35. 35. But not everyone who was asked to take a photo while watching the video was allowed to look at it – some subjects took a photo and had it taken from them before the test. And they forgot significantly more of what they’d seen than if they hadn’t taken a photo at all: taking the picture resulted in them remembering less.
  36. 36. So technology is changing how we remember things. We use our phones to store people’s contact details, our schedules, photos of a particularly nice meal we had. And that has changed over time: 10 years ago we didn’t have the same devices to hand to help us recall things.
  37. 37. …and this comes with both benefits and costs. We actually remember less ourselves as a result of this activity; but we’re more efficient at having those contact details, our schedule etc to hand, wherever we are and whatever we’re doing.
  38. 38. The results also give us some interesting insights into forthcoming developments in technology: fear of forgetting has become fear of losing our data – and so the cloud will continue to grow in importance, for example.
  39. 39. As we record more and more of our lives, so data organisation will evolve: after all, the data we record is only as valuable as our ability to re-find it subsequently.
  40. 40. The results also have important implications for marketers: after all, marketing relies upon memory, and consumers remembering a brand preference as they make a purchase.
  41. 41. Building rich, engaging experiences on our mobile devices is an obvious way to encourage us to engage, at a neural level, with a brand’s message.
  42. 42. We take photos of so much of our lives that brands can tap into this, and leverage something we already take for granted.
  43. 43. And our data showed that 6 out of 10 consumers consciously try to remember ads they’ve seen online. Brands can use targeting and remessaging, and tap into content we consume, to ensure we see and re-see ads that are relevant and interesting to us.
  44. 44. Ultimately, as consumers, we’re moving towards an ethos of “click and forget” – in how we take photos, how w remember people’s details, and how we interact with ads. Brands need to be cognisant of this, and build experience that engage and excite us, to ensure we remember their messaging.
  45. 45. Title Sponsor Gold Sponsors Silver Sponsors MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
  46. 46. Workshop Sponsors Association & Education Partners Networking Reception Sponsor Event App Partner Media Partners MRMW Chicago May 27-30, 2014 #MRMW
  47. 47. May 27-30, 2014 Congress Plaza Hotel & Convention Center #MRMW Organized by

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