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the Interference Theory of forgetting 

According to the Interference Theory of forgetting, a piece of information is forgotten because some other piece of information prevents it from being retrieved. 

Interference Theory includes two types of interference, retroactive and proactive.


retroactive interference, in relation to forgetting 

Retroactive interference is a type of forgetting in which new memories tend to erase old memories. 

Example: forgetting the maiden name of a newly married female friend; you only seem to recall her new last name. 


proactive interference, in relation to forgetting

Proactive interference is a type of forgetting in which old memories tend to prevent new memories from being committed to memory. 

Example: the inability to remember your new phone number because you keep recalling your old number. 


What two factors affect how well a memory is retrieved?

The two factors that affect how well a memory is retrieved are:

  1. Sleep
  2. Memory organization 


What role does sleep play in the ability to retrieve a memory?

Sleep allows for the consolidation of memories stored in the brain over the course of the day. 

While sleep allows for the better storage of information, conversely, a lack of sleep notably hinders the learning process. 


What two strategies assist in the organization of memories?

The two strategies that assist in the organization of memories are:

  1. Repetition: taking a piece of information and repeating it continuously, keeping it in short-term memory for as long as possible.
  2. Elaboration: associating new information with information already stored in long-term memory.



Amnesia is the loss of memory for any length of time due to psychological trauma or physical injury to the brain. 

Amnesia typically affects episodic memory, leaving procedural memory intact. 


What are the two major categories of amnesia? 

The two major categories of amnesia are:

  1. Anterograde
  2. Retrograde 


anterograde amnesia 

Anterograde amnesia is the inability to remember new information or events that occurred after the onset of amnesia.


retrograde amnesia 

Retrograde amnesia is the inability to remember information or events that occurred before the onset of amnesia.