Searching for information online can influence cognition and emotionality

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Robert Maurer

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On average, 73% of North American adults use the internet, half of them use the web to search for information through search engines while 38% use it only to pass the time, as a distraction. A recent study ofUniversity of Missouri pointed out that readers have a tendency to understand, remember and emotionally respond better to material found through search engines than to articles they encounter while surfing the net. Researchers examined how information acquisition methods affect emotional responses when reading new stories. Heart rhythm, skin and facial muscle changes were monitored as participants read negative news. Thus, unpleasant content was found to foster much stronger emotional responses when readers read information obtained through search engines than information encountered by chance. A similar effect was evident in understanding and memory. It was concluded that the means by which the person accesses the message is essential for the cognitive and emotional influence that the same can exert. These results have a very high impact in advertising campaigns, which are increasingly taking an interest in the network of networks, and for sure in the future they will be much more careful in placing advertisements on those sites that are better indexed in Google. Although the researchers do not give a definitive answer to the phenomenon, I believe that the results depend on the fact that when an information is encountered through the underlying search engine there is a specific intention, which increases our attention regarding the content we read. . On the contrary, when we find the information by chance, even if it may be interesting to us, at the beginning we do not pay the same level of attention to it so that the emotional or cognitive effect will be much less.

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