Chapter 10 - Strengths and Limitations of Theories of Forgetting Flashcards Preview

VCE Psychology 3/4 > Chapter 10 - Strengths and Limitations of Theories of Forgetting > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter 10 - Strengths and Limitations of Theories of Forgetting Deck (12):

What is forgetting?

Inability to remember: inability to retrieve, recall or recognise information that was stored in memory

Thus → inability to ACCESS rather than true memory loss

Accuracy of LTM is prone to errors due to bias & factors such as emotion and arousal


What is retrieval failure theory?

A.K.A. Cue-dependent forgetting

Explains forgetting as the inability to retrieve memory due to an absence of the right cues or failure to use them

  1. Context Dependent Cues
    • environmental cues aid retrieval of memory
  2. State Dependent Cues
    • emotional state becomes retrieval cue



What is Tip of the Tounge Phenomenon?

Is the feeling of knowing that you know the name of an item, but it is just beyond your ability to remember/retrieve at that moment

Usually will recall features accurately. This shows that memories are stored in a complex manner in a variety of locations in the brain.

Two theories as to why this happens:

  1. Retrieval Failure Theory:
    • the information was available but inaccessible due to inadequate retrieval cues
  2. Interference Theory:
    • the information is available but blocked by interference from similar sounding material


Explain interference theory

  • focuses on the influences of one set of material on the memory of other material
  • is pronounced when;
    • 2 sets of material are similar
    • 2 episodes are learnt closely together

There is two types: proactive and retroactive interference


What is proactive interference?

  • previously learnt material inhibits our ability to encode and store new material



What is retroactive interference?

  • new material inhibits our ability to retrieve previously learnt information


What is P.O.R.N in regards to interference theory?

  • Proactive interference
  • Old information interferes with new information
  • Retroactive interference
  • New information interferes with old information


What is repression?

Motivated forgetting

An unconscious mental method of self-preservation


What is suppression?

Motivated Forgetting

A conscious refusal to allow memories to occur so that they eventually are lost


Explain decay theory

Suggests that memory fades over time through lack of use

  • When a memory is consolidated, there is a physical (chemical) change/trace formed in the brain
  • This Trace is believed to 'fade' as time passes unless it is strengthened by use


Forgetting Curve

  • Hermann Ebbinghaus created the first forgetting curve in 1885
  • More recent studies have replicated his findings for many different forms of memory
    • Most forgetting occurs after the information has been learned, so a steep downward gradient is evident at the beginning
    • Typically, more than 50% of material is forgotten within half an hour of learning
    • factors that appear to have very little effect on the rate of forgetting are complexity  intellectual ability of the learner

A image thumb

What is pseudoforgetting?

Pseudoforgetting is where memory is thought to be forgotten but it was never encoded and stored in the first place. It is often caused by lack of attention.

It is an example of ineffective encoding.