Is the internet making us stupid? That’s the question researchers from Wellington’s Victoria University asked in a study on people’s reading behaviour.

And the answer is: yes.

We might have more access to information than ever before, but reading things online actually has a negative impact on people’s cognition.

Associate professor Val Hooper and master’s student Channa Herath’s analysis of online and offline reading behaviour found that online reading generally does not have a positive impact on people’s cognition.

Concentration, comprehension, absorption and recall rates when engaging with online material were all much lower than traditional text.

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