Flashcards in Explanations for forgetting Deck (25):
What are the three explanations for forgetting?
Interference, cue-dependent forgetting and repression
What is retrieval failure?
An explanation for forgetting where material is stored in the LTM but cannot be recalled due to a lack of retrieval cues to "jog the memory"
What is interference theory?
An explanation for forgetting when similar material is confused with or disrupted by other information during coding, resulting in inaccurate recall from the LTM - Proactive and Retroactive
Define proactive interference
Information stored previously interferes with new information (works forwards in time)
Define retroactive interference
New information interferes with old information (works backwards in time)
What was the procedure used by Schmidt et al. to investigate interference theory?
211 ppts were given a map of Molenberg,
Netherlands with 48 numbers which replaced street
names. Ppts were told to remember as many as they
could. Ppts also completed a questionnaire about how
many times they had moved, and how often they
visited Molenberg. This was to measure their
What results did Schmidt et al. get?
There was a positive correlation between the
no. of times a ppt has moved outside of Molenberg and
the number of street names forgotten
Who conducted a real-life study of interference theory?
Baddeley and Hitch
What was the procedure used by Baddeley and Hitch to investigate interference theory?
Asked rugby players to recall the names of
teams recently played. For various reasons including
injuries and suspensions most players they
interviewed had missed some games, so for one
player the last game might have been last week,
while for another it was two months ago
What results did Baddeley and Hitch gain from their study?
Recall for the last game was
equally good whether that game was played some
time ago or last week. This shows that incorrect
recall was not due to decay (the passage of time) but
was related to the number of intervening games
Which explanation has more supporting research?
When does cue-dependent forgetting occur?
When information is in LTM but can't be accessed
What metaphor can be used to explain cue-dependent forgetting?
A filing cabinet where the labels on files are retrieval cues
What is cue-dependent forgetting?
A type of forgetting based on a failure to retrieve the prompts that trigger recall - when we learn the information we also encode the context (external cues) in which we learn the information and the mental state we are in (internal cues). These can act as cues to recall.
What are the two main forms of cue-dependent forgetting?
State-dependent and context-dependent
Explain context-dependent forgetting
Forgetting occurs when the external environment is different at recall than it was at coding
What are the two types of cues in the cue-dependent forgetting explanation?
Cues which are linked meaningfully to the information to be remembered and cues that are not
Explain state-dependent forgetting
Forgetting occurs when an individual's internal environment is different at recall to coding
What was Godden and Baddeley's procedure and results?
18 divers from a diving club were asked to learn lists of 36 unrelated words of two or three syllables in one of four conditions (involving beach and underwater) and found that those who learnt underwater but recalled on the beach had an 8.5% recall compared to the recall of those who both recalled and learnt underwater at 11.4%
What was Overton's procedure and results?
Participants had to learn material when either
drunk or sober; Recall was poorer when participants were in a different state at recall to coding
What alternative theories of forgetting are there?
Trace decay (a gradual fading of memory) and displacement theory (information is lost from STM as it has a limited capacity
What is repression?
A type of motivated forgetting where emotionally threatening events are banished into the unconscious mind to prevent feelings of anxiety, although the memory continues to affect conscious thoughts and actions, they are difficult to retrieve
What is false memory syndrome?
A repressed memory recalled in repressed memory therapy turns out to be false, potentially because therapists plant false memories (Loftus and Palmer)
What did Williams find?
38% of the women he studied had no recall of their childhood sexual assault, and of those who could recall it 16% reported that at one time they couldn't recall it