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Forgetting. The loss of information or the inability to access previously encoded information within memory Can be seen as beneficial as it gets rid of.

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Presentation on theme: "Forgetting. The loss of information or the inability to access previously encoded information within memory Can be seen as beneficial as it gets rid of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forgetting

2 The loss of information or the inability to access previously encoded information within memory Can be seen as beneficial as it gets rid of outdated useless information Can occur at any stage of memory

3 The Forgetting Curve Hermann Ebbinghaus ( ) Used nonsense syllables in his research When one memorises meaningless information, forgetting is initially rapid and then slows gradually over time More than half of the memory loss occurs within the first hour after learning

4 Material that is of interest to the individual is forgotten at a slower rate 50% of info. is lost within the first hour If the learning that took place initially was strong then forgetting is not as quick Things that have little effect on the rate of forgetting are complexity of material and intellectual ability of people.

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7 Forgetting may occur because: The right retrieval cue or prompt is not used There is interference from competing material There is some underlying motivation to not remember Memory fades through disuse over time

8 Theories of Forgetting Pseudo forgetting – information was never properly stored Displacement – information being held in STM can be pushed out by newly arriving information Encoding Failure – means that information fails to enter LTM, also if consolidation is disrupted

9 Retrieval Failure (Cue-dependent forgetting) Inability to retrieve previously stored information Occurs when one is unable to access information from LTM, even when certain they know it Not permanent Information can be retrieved with correct cues Insufficient / inappropriate retrieval cues Retrieval cues can be internal (mental reminders), or external (questions, sights, sounds)

10 Tip of the tongue phenomenon Occurs when an individual is confident they know something, but are not quite able to access it from memory at that point in time The individual may be able to describe characteristics of the item (first letter, length, what it looks like) Suggests that The right cue was not available Different aspects of a particular item are stored in different places in memory sounds, spelling, meaning

11 Trace-Dependent Theories of Forgetting Explanations of forgetting that refer to physical alterations to memory traces in CNS Interference Theory: Interference form other traces Motivated Forgetting: The nature of the trace changes Decay Theory: Memory traces change over time

12 INTERFERENCE THEORY Some material may disrupt the retrieval of other information Forgetting results from competing associations between different concepts stored in LTM Proactive interference Occurs when previously stored information interferes with the ability to remember similar, more recently learned materials

13 Retroactive interference Occurs when newly learnt information interferes with the ability to remember similar material stored previously Explanations May be due to overwriting Response competition – new traces make it harder to find older traces

14 MOTIVATED FORGETTING / REPRESSION Based on Freud’s observation that individuals employ the mental defence mechanism of repression to unconsciously block out painful or unpleasant memories Psychogenic amnesia Involves the partial or complete loss of memory (due to non-organic causes) for threatening information or traumatic experiences

15 Suppression – the process by which a person consciously tries to forget unacceptable or painful information by pushing it out of their consciousness Pseudo memories – are false memories that may result when accurate information is combined with fantasies and possibly suggested thoughts given during therapy (Especially hypnosis)

16 DECAY THEORY Memory traces that store data within the brain fade or disintegrate over time unless they are reactivated by occasional use (repetition or rehearsal or reactivation) Fails to explain why some information, particularly from procedural memory is not forgotten


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