Forgetting refers to the inability to retrieve previosuly stored information.
What does the forgetting curve show?
The forgetting curve shows that the rate and amount of forgetting that occurs over time. Generally, the graph shows that forgetting is rapid soon after the original learning, then the rate of memory loss gradually declines, followed by stability in the memories that remain.
What happens to the forgetting curve when information is learned over an extended period of time?
More information is retained, but the rate at which information is lost remains the same.
What other factors influence the forgetting curve?
If information is more meaningful, the rate of forgetting will be slower. The amount and rate of forgetting are also influenced by how well the information was initially encoded. The better the initial learning, the longer the material is likely to be retained.
In what way(s) is forgetting from both STM (or working memory) and LTM adaptive?
There would be a reduction in everyday functioning if information were to clutter conscious awareness, as well as a loss of efficiency in retrieval. There is a lack of necessity to remember everything in order to cope effectively with living independently in everyday life.
What are the three main kinds of measures of retention?
Recall, recognition and learning.
What does the process of recall involve?
Recall involves being asked to reproduce information with the fewest possible cues to assist retrieval.
What does free recall involve?
Free recall involves participants simply being asked to remember as much information as they can in no particular order, as opposed to serial recall.
What is cued recall?
Cued recall makes use of more specific cues to aid retrieval.
What is recognition?
Recognition involves identifying the correct information from among alternatives. It is a more sensitive measure of memory than recall.
What is relearning?
Relearning, also known as the method of savings, involves learning information again that has been previously learned and stored in LTM.
What does sensitivity refer to in terms of a measure of retention?
The sensitivity of a measure of retention refers to its ability to assess the amount of information that has been stored in memory.
What are the four main theories of forgetting?
Retrieval Failure Theory
According to retrieval failure theory, why do we forget?
We sometimes forget because we lack or fail to use the right retrieval cues to retrieve information stored in memory. This is why it is sometimes referred to as cue-dependent forgetting.
What is a retrieval cue?
Any stimulus that assists the process of locating and recovering information stored in memory.
What is tip-of-the-tongue?
The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon is a state or 'feeling' that occurs when you are aware of knowing something, and confident you will eventually remember it, but you are not able to retrieve it from memory at that point in time?
Why is TOT thought to involve a partial retrieval process?
We seem to have some information about what we are searching for, suggesting that TOT involves a partial retrieval process in which bits of information can act as retrieval cues for the required information.
What aspects does TOT illustrate about the retrieval process?
Retrieval is not an all or nothing process. Information is stored in LTM but is not accessible without the right retrieval cue. TOT also shows that information stored in LTM is organised and connected logically.
What is interference theory?
Interference theory proposes that forgetting in LTM occurs because other memories interfere with the retrieval of what we are trying to recall, particularly if the other memories are similar.
What are the two kinds of interference?
Retroactive interference and proactive interference.
What is retroactive interference?
When new information interferes with the ability to remember old information.
What is proactive interference?
When old information interferes with the ability to remember new information.
What is motivated forgetting?
Forgetting that arises from a strong motive or desire to forget, usually because the experience is too disturbing or upsetting to remember.
What does repression involve?
Repression involves unconsciously blocking a memory of an event or experience from entering conscious awareness.
What does suppression involve?
Suppression involves being motivated to forget an event or experience by making a deliberate conscious effort to keep it out of conscious awareness.
What is decay theory based on?
Decay theory is based on an assumption that when something new is learned, a physical or chemical memory trace containing stored information is formed in the brain as information is consolidated in LTM.
Why does forgetting occur according to decay theory?
According to decay theory, forgetting occurs because a memory (or the memory trace) fades through disuse as time passes, unless it is reactivated by being used occassionally.
How is decay theory significant?
It is a widely accepted theory of forgetting and possibly the earliest, and offers an explanation of forgetting in physiological terms.