Virtual Library

Our research repositories present a collection of open-source resources that showcase research and analysis that has directly influenced our initiatives. Non-IST publications are copyrighted by external authors not affiliated with IST.

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Reports

To the Point of Failure: Identifying Failure Points for Crisis Communications Systems

Leah Walker, Alexa Wehsener

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Reports

Mapping the Ransomware Payment Ecosystem: A Comprehensive Visualization of the Process and Participants

Zoë Brammer

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Reports

Plan maestro de defensa contra los programas de secuestro

Grupo de Trabajo sobre Programas de Secuestro

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Reports

Cyber Incident Reporting Framework

Cyber Threat Alliance, Institute for Security and Technology

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Reports

Digital Tools, Cognition, and Democracy: A Review of the Literature

Zoë Brammer, Sage Miller, Leah Walker

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Reports

Reasoning: How digital technologies influence decision making and judgment

Stephanie Rodriguez

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Reports

Attention: How digital technologies influence what we notice, what we focus on, and how we learn

Stephanie Rodriguez

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We also welcome additional suggestions from readers, and will consider adding further resources as so much of our work has come through crowd-sourced collaboration already. If, for any chance you are an author whose work is listed here and you do not wish it to be listed in our repository, please, let us know.

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Memory: How digital technologies influence cognitive information storage

Stephanie Rodriguez

SUMMARY

Below is an editorial summary of “Memory”:

Memory is foundational to cognition. It enables individuals to operate with certain assumptions about truth based on prior validated beliefs. Memory informs individual decision making, reasoning, and problem solving. There are also significant societal implications rooted in memory function. Individual memories, collectively and cumulatively, inform the development of “national memory,” which in turn influences “the construction of a democratic culture and collective identity.” This report provides a working definition of memory and focuses especially on long-term memory.

The class of long-term memory identified as critical to our investigation is outsourced memory. Two key examples of digital technologies that “outsource” memory are: the Google effect and the GPS effect.

This trust in and reliance on devices, tools, and platforms—which in fact have significant flaws and biases, and are often intentionally manipulative—may pose issues for behavior in other settings, and thus for societal and democratic functioning more broadly. Additionally, if people believe they store more information internally than they do, there is a risk of co-dependence on external information stores to supplement or supplant individual knowledge. Constantly seeking information externally also risks increasing the likelihood of exposure to biased, manipulated, or inaccurate information, which may also change how information is processed and synthesized across diverse contexts. Combined, these processes may adversely affect the information ecosystem, public discourse, and civic engagement.

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