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Polish researchers join international team to study the problem of excessive information

by Dignity News
An international team of researchers, involving scientists from the Warsaw University of Technology, the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, the University of Warsaw, and the Social Academy of Sciences in Łódź, has tackled the problem of information overload. The results of their work were published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

In addition to researchers from Poland, the work involves scientists from Germany, the UK, the USA, Israel, Austria, and Slovenia. The research was conducted as part of the European project Omino (Horizon Europe), which will continue until 2026.

“Information space should be treated in the same way as the environment around us, in which pollution affects our well-being. Daily information overload causes cognitive overload and, combined with fatigue, time pressure and limited working memory capacity, makes it difficult for us to perform tasks. Also in scientific work, we face a big problem of filtering out irrelevant or low-quality work”, explains Prof. Przemysław Kazienko from the Department of Artificial Intelligence at Wrocław University of Science and Technology.

The researchers highlight that we already faced a similar situation during the industrial revolution, when a huge increase in the production of iron and chemicals was considered necessary for progress. However, we now understand that this carried serious risks – uncontrolled fume emissions from factory chimneys can lead to degradation and pose a serious threat to humanity.

The emergence of environmental movements has helped to change our awareness and attitudes towards the exploitation of nature. It has also forced legal and economic changes to protect air, water, soil, and food quality.

In the publication, the researchers distinguished three levels of perception of information overload that are interdependent: neural and cognitive mechanisms at the level of the individual, decisions, and perception of information within social groups and the society-wide level of interaction between individuals, groups, and information providers.

Adrian Andrzejewski

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