A Study of Effect of Cognitive Offloading on Instant Performance and Metamemory in Short-Term Task







Cognitive offloading, metamemory, instant performance

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  • Yashada Tarde Department of Physiology, Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India.
  • Prema Joshi Department of Physiology, Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India.


Background: Cognitive offloading reduces requirement of mental processing by use of physical actions like setting reminders. Increasing use of smart-gadgets for externalization of memory is make us more vulnerable to develop tendency of offloading. Our young generation has resorted to use of offloading right from their childhood due to leisure handling of gadgets, without metamemory evaluation. Recurrent use of offloading might reduce their efficiency to utilize their thought process whenever required.

Objective: To compare and assess performance of adults and adolescents in instant task and short-term task including cost-benefit evaluation with and without offloading.

Material & Methods Present study was conducted on 186 participants divided into two age groups: adults(18-40 years), adolescents(13-17 years) after taking appropriate written informed consent. Study commenced after approval from ethics committee. Two groups were divided into offloading permitted and not permitted based on randomized computer-generated-sequence. This cross-sectional study analyzed performance in colour block test, forward digit recall and backward digit recall1 in two sets, one immediately after sequence was portrayed and other, half-an-hour later. Cost-benefit evaluation was also assessed.  Working memory assessment to compare between two age groups was done. Statistical analysis was done using paired and unpaired T-test.

Result: Significant increase in instant performance and decline in short-term performance was seen in offloaded group. The performance in offloaded group significantly decreased on adding cost-benefit evaluation. Reduction in working memory performance was seen in younger age group.

Interpretation & Conclusion: Cognitive offloading increases the instant performance but adversely affects development of long-term and working memory.

How to Cite

Tarde, Y., & Joshi, P. (2023). A Study of Effect of Cognitive Offloading on Instant Performance and Metamemory in Short-Term Task. Indian Journal of Behavioural Sciences, 26(02), 85–94. https://doi.org/10.55229/ijbs.v26i2.03


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Author Biography

Prema Joshi, Department of Physiology, Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India.

Head of Department 

Department of Physiology

Dr. Vasantrao Pawar Medical College Hospital and Research Center


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