In an age of e-mails, databases and online catalogues, two heads may no longer be better than one, according to new ESRC-sponsored research into the effects of information overload.
Problems are exacerbated when information is shared between people with different viewpoints, says a team led by Professor Tom Ormerod of Lancaster University, which revealed big variations in recall among married couples. In a project aimed at finding better ways for us to organise and retrieve information for shared use, researchers investigated how couples catalogue and retrieve their digital photos now that the age of the shoebox full of prints and negatives is gone.
The team developed a novel digital photograph browser (TW3 - The Way We Were), which restricted cataloguing and retrieval to Who, What, Where and When, while allowing choice within these categories. When couples had jointly catalogued photographs, it was found that working together to retrieve photos was fruitful. However, when they had catalogued pictures on their own, it was a very different story.
Becky Gammon | EurekAlert!
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