• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider psychological research into explanations of forgetting in Short-term memory

Extracts from this document...


Consider psychological research into explanations of forgetting in Short-term memory The term forgetting is used when learnt information can't be retrieved from both the short term memory and the long term memory. There have been many suggestions made to explain the reason that we forget information. The most common explanation came from Freud who devised the theory of repression. In his theory he believed that forgetting occurs because memories can be emotionally painful, mainly as they are the remnants of a trauma or an unpleasant event. Repression occurs when the mind represses these memories. Although this is a valid explanation for the forgetting of tragic memories it fails to explain the vast amount of forgetting of more daily occurring mundane events. To justify forgetting within STM psychologists suggests that information stored in the STM simply disappears with time, or it is pushed out by new information. ...read more.


However, if rehearsal is prevented then the trigram is forgotten after around 15 seconds. They also found that the loss of information was initially rapid, followed by a decrease in loss, indicating that the classic "forgetting Curve" is evident. Although this experiment proved successful in explaining forgetting in STM it was subject to much criticism. The study lacks ecological validity and mundane realism as the information presented was artificial and had no significant meaning to the participants, suggesting that more meaningful information would have been remembered better. However this criticism offers an explanation as to why we forget meaningless information on a daily basis. The outcome of their experiment was heavily influenced by the fact that the participants were given so many trigrams to remember. They were overloaded with information and that in itself can cause confusion without the need for interference tasks. ...read more.


They were then probed at the end of the list with the digit and asked to state which digit followed it in the list. Lists were presented at 1 or 4 per second audit orally. The experimenters found that forgetting varied with the number of digits presented between the probe and the end of the list, but not with the time between the probe and the end of the list. This suggested, therefore, that forgetting was interference based rather than time based which further supports the works of Peterson and Peterson. They carried out a further experiment, this time the digits were presented at different speeds. It was found that recall improved when digits were presented faster, again suggesting that decay was to blame rather than displacement. Studies provide us with evidence that both the Trace Decay Theory and The Displacement Theory are explanations of forgetting within STM. However, the evidence would suggest that decay and interference play the bigger part in this process. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Define short-term memory and describe the main factors that influence the number of items ...

    4 star(s)

    Nairne believes that simple appeals to rehearsal or decay are unlikely to explain the specific details of short-term forgetting (Nairne 2002 [5]). He criticises the view that rehearsal and decay are determining factors of remembering over the short term and opts for a cue driven approach.


    the short term memory and prove that if the information is not rehearsed then it can't be stored in the short-term memory therefore causing the participant to forget the information. METHOD DESIGN An experiment was conducted for this investigation. The type of experiment used was a lab experiment, as it was conducted in controlling and manipulating the independent variable.

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    The design used was the independent groups design, as 2 groups of participants were needed for each condition. This investigation consisted of two groups of 10 (with 5 males and females), in each group. Participants were randomly picked, and 10 of each sex were randomly chosen so as to ensure a fair testing.

  2. Psychology Retrospective Interference coursework

    Deceiving the participants and not receiving their informed consent were considered as limitations. First, the participants were not fully 'informed' of all aspects of the research. However, a major problem with informed consent is the possibilities that the researcher will reveal their aim which would generate invalidate findings.

  1. effects of chunking and unchunking on short term memory

    Participant on average recalled two chunks. Could it be that the time given for learning the sequence was too short, or having mobile phones to hold 11 digit numbers mean that we do not need to develop the skill of recalling a sequence of digits?

  2. Report on Psychological Research into Eyewitness Testimony

    Yuille and Cutshall (1986) contradicted these finding with their own experiment into how levels of stress affected the recall of witnesses at an armed robbery. Between four and five months after the robbery had taken place the witnesses were interviewed by psychologists.

  1. Discuss biological and psychological explanations of depression

    Hence, depression is produced. It is hard to know whether the high or low levels of serotonin and noradrenaline helped to cause the depression, or whether the depression altered the levels of those neurotransmitters. Support for this theory lies with the anti-depressant drugs (tricyclic drugs)

  2. 'Biological explanations of schizophrenia tell us all we need to know about this disorder.(TM)

    Crespa et al (2007) analysed 76 genes, 26 of which showed signs of positive selection during human evolutionary history. This result lends weight to the idea that genes are linked with schizophrenia (which implements the biological explanation), but also, the results help to explain how prevalence rates have remained at 0.2%- 2% (DSM IV, 1994)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work