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Forgetting in LTM Availability vs accessibility Interference Suggests that information forgotten from LTM has disappeared completely Suggests that information.

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Presentation on theme: "Forgetting in LTM Availability vs accessibility Interference Suggests that information forgotten from LTM has disappeared completely Suggests that information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forgetting in LTM Availability vs accessibility Interference Suggests that information forgotten from LTM has disappeared completely Suggests that information forgotten from LTM has disappeared completely Cue dependent forgetting Suggests that forgotten information is still stored, but is (temporarily) inaccessible Suggests that forgotten information is still stored, but is (temporarily) inaccessible

2 Interference Forgetting occurs when information to be stored is similar to information already in LTM Retroactive - new info ‘overwrites’ previously stored info Retroactive - new info ‘overwrites’ previously stored info Proactive - previously stored info prevents new info from being stored properly Proactive - previously stored info prevents new info from being stored properly Predicts that forgetting will increase with similarity of information

3 Interference McGeoch & MacDonald (1931) PPs had to learn lists of adjectives, recall after a delay. Three conditions: 1. Did nothing between learning & recall 2. Learned additional unrelated material 3. Learned additional adjectives Most forgetting in group 3 Supports prediction that forgetting is a function of similarity

4 Interference Tulving (1966) PPs asked to free recall word lists they had previously learned PPs asked to free recall word lists they had previously learned Recall tested on several different occasions Recall tested on several different occasions Generally, PPs recalled about 50% of the words, but not always the same 50% Suggests that words had not disappeared but had actually been inaccessible Suggests that words had not disappeared but had actually been inaccessible This is contrary to what interference theory suggests This is contrary to what interference theory suggests

5 Interference Clearly it is possible to confuse similar information Some experiments support interference theory, but they are very artificial Information that has been forgotten often becomes recoverable later Unlikely that interference accounts for most of the forgetting we do

6 Cue Dependent Forgetting Forgetting occurs when information becomes inaccessible We lack the appropriate retrieval cues that will allow us to locate it in LTM We lack the appropriate retrieval cues that will allow us to locate it in LTM Retrieval cues can be external (context) or internal (state) Retrieval cues can be external (context) or internal (state) Predicts that remembering will be better when state & context are the same as at the time of learning

7 Cue Dependent Forgetting Smith (1970) tested recall of a word list in the original learning context or a different room Same room – 18/80 words Same room – 18/80 words Different room – 12/80 words Different room – 12/80 words PPs who imagined themselves back in original room recalled avg. 17/80 PPs who imagined themselves back in original room recalled avg. 17/80 Strong evidence for role of context cues in retrieval

8 Cue Dependent Forgetting Fair amount of support for role of state cues in forgetting/remembering e.g Goodwin et al (1969) – heavy drinkers often forgot where they had put things when sober, but remembered once they had drunk sufficient alcohol Goodwin et al (1969) – heavy drinkers often forgot where they had put things when sober, but remembered once they had drunk sufficient alcohol Eich (1980) similar findings with heavy marijuana users Eich (1980) similar findings with heavy marijuana users

9 Cue Dependent Forgetting Much research support for basic propositions. Retrieval seems to be most likely when conditions match those of initial learning Retrieval seems to be most likely when conditions match those of initial learning Does not apply equally to all types of info E.g. procedural memories (skills) seem stable, resistant to forgetting and not reliant on retrival cues E.g. procedural memories (skills) seem stable, resistant to forgetting and not reliant on retrival cues


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