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

Evaluate two theories of forgetting.

Extracts from this document...


Evaluate two theories of forgetting To be able to understand why we forget, we must first consider the distinction between availability and accessibility: the first refers to whether or not material has been stored in the first place, while the second refers to being able to retrieve what has been stored. In terms of the multi store model, since information must be transferred from STM to LTM for permanent storage, availability has mainly to do with STM and the transfer of information from STM to LTM, and accessibility has mainly to do with LTM. This suggests that one way of looking at forgetting is to ask what prevents information from staying in STM long enough to be transferred to LTM( trace decay, interference, displacement), and another is to ask what prevents us from accessing the information that is in LTM. 1. Trace decay This explanation of forgetting in short term memory assumes that the memories leave a trace on the brain. ...read more.


This procedure was known as the serial probe technique. The numbers were presented at different speeds. If information fades away due to the passage of time, then numbers presented at a faster rate have less time to decay than numbers presented at a slower rate. If trace decay is occurring then memory should be better - more correct answers - when the information is presented fast. However, presentation rate appeared to make little difference. There was no significant relationship between the speed of presentation and the recall of correct numbers. These findings show extreme doubt of the trace decay theory of forgetting. 2. Interference This theory states that forgetting occurs because memories interfere with and disrupt each other. Old memories may disrupt new ones - this is called proactive interference, which means forward interference. New memories can also disrupt old ones, which is known as retroactive interference, meaning backwards interference. Interference becomes more likely when memories are similar. ...read more.


They gave the first word which came into their minds which probably effects what would happen in an everyday situation. They were then asked to learn a new set of words which were linked to the first one. They were then asked to recall all the words they'd learnt. This should result in retroactive interference because the words belonged to the same semantic field. New learning should disrupt older memories and participants should've forgotten the first word they chose. They didn't. There was no evidence of interference. This experiment suggests that when participants behave 'normally' and select their usual associations, interference may not occur. Baddeley (1990) points out that it has been very difficult to demonstrate significant proactive interference outside the laboratory; one reason being that when the learning of potentially interfering material is spaced out over time, interference is greatly reduced. However in the laboratory the experime` `nt is extremely compressed in time (artificially) and so it increases the probability of interference. Experimental studies of interference have very low ecological validity. Jo-Anne Cromack ...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

    Are memories permanent and unalterable?

    4 star(s)

    (As cited in Loftus & Loftus, 1980) Freud clearly supported the permanence of memory, on which he based the psychoanalytic approach. One of the ways by which he introduced his skepticism was the mystic writing pad paradigm. According to this paradigm memory consists of a wax layer, covered by a sheet of wax paper and a transparent celluloid sheet.

  2. Peer reviewed

    "Discuss two theories of forgetting in LTM"

    3 star(s)

    The idea can be associated with revision, People try to learn very different material after each other otherwise they will forget more due to interference for example learning one topic in Psychology then revise or learn a totally unrelated and dissimilar subject like Law.

  1. Psychology Retrospective Interference coursework

    the independent variables to examine the dependent variable, therefore, provides a high degree of certainty between the cause and effect. The design of this experiment is an independent measure as this is to avoid the order effects between the conditions.

  2. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    Once in the classroom each participant was given the standardised instructions and agreement form to read, understand and sign. When ready, the appropriate word list and blank sheet of paper were given to the participant and the stopwatch was set for 60 seconds.

  1. the affect interference has on the recall of words

    They concluded that it was the number of games that were played which affected recall not the time elapsed. Loftus (1977) studied a result of interference from subsequent questioning. She showed participants a film of a car crash; they were later asked numerous questions about the film, including how fast the cars were going when they hit each other.

  2. An investigation to discover the effects of retroactive interference on memory recall.

    -Group 1 was the control group and had no second list -Group 2 received words with nonsense syllables -Group 3 had words which in no way were related to the first set of words -Group 4 had words which had similar meaning The results showed that the control group had

  1. Retrieval Induced Forgetting in Coherent Narrative Text.

    Veling and Knippenberg (2004) ran 2 experiments. The first experiment was to show that retrieval induced forgetting could be obtained using recognition latencies without using categories as cues in the recognition phase. The expected results were that participants would react slower to the rp- items than to either the rp+ or nrp items.

  2. Describe and evaluate at least two theories of forgetting.

    The term given to this is the encoding specifity principle. A study conducted by Tulving and Psotha [1971] compared cue - dependant forgetting with interference theory. Participants were given a retroactive interference task [learning information AFTER the material intended for recall].

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