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

Explain two theories of forgetting

Extracts from this document...


Psychology h/w Mr Edwards 07/11/04 1.Explain two theories of forgetting Retrieval failure is the failure to find an item of information because we have insufficient clues or cues. The context where initial learning takes place or the mood we were in may act as a cue later. Lack of these cues will lead to greater forgetting. Interference refers to the tendency for one memory to 'interfere with' accurate retrieval of another memory. Proactive interference is when the past material interferes with attempts to learn similar new material, causing us to forget new material. Retroactive interference is when current learning interferes with material already learned, causing is to forget the material already learned. In order to prevent forgetting it is important to consider why forgetting occurs The most frequent reason for forgetting information is difficulty in transferring it from working memory to long-term memory. ...read more.


There are two types of interference, proactive and retro active. PI is when past learning interferes with current attempts to learn something. RI is when current attempts to learn something interfere with past learning. Support for interference theory comes form Jenkins and Dallenbach (1924), who found that after learning lists of nonsense syllables, participants ' recall was much better when intervening time had been filled primarily with sleep rather than a comparable period of being awake. However, Tulving and Pstoka(1971) found that when participants in a memory test were given cued recall the previous effects of interference disappeared. This shows that interference effects may simply mask what is actually in memory, i.e the information is there but cannot be retrieved. ...read more.


Only 40 of 520 patients could retrieve real memories and most of these resembled dreams rather than memories. The third theory which explains forgetting is cue-dependent forgetting, this is when information may be stored in memory but may be inaccessible unless there is a specific cut to help retrieve it. Some psychologists believe that all forgetting is cue-dependent forgetting. Michael Eysenck (1988) says 'it is probable that this is the main reason for forgetting in LTM'. There is a considerable amount of research to show the importance of cues and how they trigger memory. As we have seen, retrieval is best when conditions during recall match those during original learning. The encoding specificity principle further states that a cue doesn't have to be exactly right, but the closer the cue is to the thing you're looking for, the more useful it will be. ...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. This study is based on the theory of cue dependent forgetting - more specifically, ...

    The context is the variable being manipulated while the recall is what is being measured so any other variables, situational or participant, are extraneous. Participants The target population of this experiment is fundamentally the entire human race but a method of opportunistic sampling was used because it is cheap and quick, although it is very biased.

  2. Cue dependent Forgetting. This experiment investigates Tulvings theory of cue dependent forgetting, with ...

    Variables The independent variable is the same or different environments; In first condition students learned and recalled in same classroom at encoding and retrieval and in second condition students recalled words in a different environment, the hallway. The dependent variable is how many words the participants remember accurately from a list.

  1. Free essay

    Correlation between age and sleep

    Sleep has a big impact on our life. I think sleep it is the most interesting part of the physiological approach and I am interested in seeing the relationship between sleep and age for myself with my own research. It is an ethical and straightforward study to carry out and gathers quantitative results, ideal for my coursework.

  2. Psychology Retrospective Interference coursework

    Standardized instructions 2 for condition 2 and 3 (see Appendix) 3. Original list of adjectives (see Appendix- Word List 1) 4. Synonym list of adjectives (see Appendix- Word List 2) 5. Antonym list of adjectives (see Appendix- Word List 3) 6. Writing utensils 7. Sheets of A4 paper 8.

  1. 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

  2. Investigating the effects of organisation on learning

    was given for any questions to be asked or comments to be given. In conjunction with the aims of the study, the target population was people of both genders aged 16-18, and participants were gathered using an opportunity sample. The participants numbered 20 and were male and female sixth form students at St Aidan's Church of England High School.

  1. Retrieval Induced Forgetting in Coherent Narrative Text.

    the first letter of an export or native language.) There was a filler task in which participants had to count backwards by 3 from Diane Poulos 5 2,000 for 5 minutes before allowed to recall as much information about the islands as possible.

  2. Memory and forgetting

    These memories continue to exist but in the unconscious mind. For example memories of being abused as a child may bee to disturbing for a person to cope with and may be outside conscious recall. It has been proved difficult to demonstrate the existence of repression in the laboratory, although a number of attempts have been made.

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