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

Describe a theory of forgetting.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe a theory of forgetting. The Trace Decay Theory of forgetting is one of a number of theories used by cognitive psychologists. Psychologists often argue over two beliefs regarding the nature of forgetting, namely Availability (i.e. forgotten information is not stored in the first place or is completely lost) and Accessibility (i.e. forgotten information is stored in the LTM, but there is a problem accessing it). The Trace Decay Theory is associated with the problem of availability. The logic behind this theory is that the things we learn (i.e. smells, names, places, telephone numbers) are stored in the brain as physical traces, or Engrams. A study by Hebb in 1949 led him to the conclusion that when an Engram is being formed, or when learning is taking place, it is very delicate and liable to disruption. ...read more.

Middle

However such environments are unnatural and unexperienced in everyday life. They are said to lack validity. Trace Decay Theory in short tem memory relates to the theory of duration in short term memory. Brown and Peterson (1965) used the serial probe technique to test this theory. For this, participants were given a series of numbers to learn. They were then given one of the numbers and asked which number followed it. The numbers were presented at different speeds, thus, if the trace decay theory is indeed correct, then the faster the numbers were presented the better recall should occur, as the more likely the information is to stay in the short term memory. However this was not the case with the results. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another theory of forgetting is the Retrieval Failure Theory, or cue-dependent forgetting. According to this theory, memories cannot be retrieved because the relevant 'cues' are not being used. Tulvig and Pearlstone (1966) conducted a study which showed the affects 'cues' had on recall. Participents were read a lists of varying numbers of words, some of which were in categories with one, two or four word plus the category name. Those who were given category names scored higher, especially where more words were used. Those without categories scored less, but were then given category names and their scores increased. This concludes that the category names acted as 'cues', allowing the participants access to previously unavailable in their brain. The Cue-dependent Theory is clearly more reliable as it has more actual evidence to back it up, where as the Trace Dependent Theory has very little evidence to support it. ...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. Cue dependent Forgetting. This experiment investigates Tulvings theory of cue dependent forgetting, with ...

    8 participants; 4 males 4 females between age of 18 and 24. The hypothesis is tested through a field experiment. This method was chosen due to the classroom being a natural setting for participants who are all college students. Previous research was done as a laboratory experiment.

  2. To What Extent Is motivated Forgetting Produced By Failure Feedback?

    The test sheet had a list of 30 states and the state capitals (on the opposite side). The participants had to learn these in the time given (10 minutes). The participants were then given the first response sheet (C1) and they were all the same.

  1. This study is based on the theory of cue dependent forgetting - more specifically, ...

    Aims This investigation has the same aims as Godden and Baddeley: to test the theory of context dependent memory, more specifically to see if recall is better when learning and recall take place in the same environment. This investigation is being carried out as memory plays an important role in

  2. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    This would explain the large quantity of participants remembering Uganda and chimpanzee, for example, as they are very infrequently used and may have stood out from the more generic words in the table. This may also account for why words like China, cow and swimming were frequently forgotten: they are

  1. Free essay

    Correlation between age and sleep

    This pattern is called advanced sleep phase syndrome. The sleep rhythm is shifted forward so that 7 or 8 hours of sleep are still obtained but the individuals will wake up extremely early because they have gone to sleep quite early. The reason for these changes in sleep and circadian rhythms as we age is not clearly understood.

  2. Cue-dependent forgetting theory by Tulving

    who manipulated the mood of his participants using hypnosis. The conditions were a happy or sad state of mind. Participants who encoded and recalled information while in a happy state of mind allowed greater accessibility to their memories. Those who encoded information in a happy state of mind but recalled

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