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"In order to prevent forgetting, it is important to consider why it occurs".

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Introduction

"In order to prevent forgetting, it is important to consider why it occurs" The concept of forgetting suggests that something has disappeared from memory - it is not available. Or it could that memory is simply mislaid - it is not accessible. Availability Accessibility Concerns STM Concerns STM and LTM only Interference Theory It is assumed that one set of learning in some way interferes with another set and wipes out the memory. Proactive interference is when previous learning interferes with later learning (Past experience interferes with current recall). Retroactive interference is when later learning disrupts memory for earlier learning. (Successive experience interferes with recall of material learned earlier). A study that proves this is the Jenkins and Dallenbach (1924) ...read more.

Middle

Trace Decay Theory Forgetting might also be due to the gradual decaying of the memory traces in long-term memory this has also been suggested for short-term memory. It is hard to study the physical and psychological changes directly. The theory is if a person does nothing during the time of learning and recall then they forget the material this would mean that the trace has disappeared. Tulving and Psotka have tested the theory. Participants were given a long list of words to remember. The words belonged to several different categories (e.g. articles of furniture, four footed animals). The participants were tested twice. On the first occasion they were asked for free (non-cued) recall, i.e. to write down all the words they could remember. ...read more.

Conclusion

Criticisms Experiments have been attempted where subjects have been subjected to anxiety producing situations to see if forgetting occurs. However these experiments are ethically questionable as they affect the participant's psychological well being, and they probably do not simulate real live anxiety producing situations. Cue Dependent Forgetting This is an example of forgetting because of lack of accessibility. What happens is that information is in your memory but you cannot access it until an appropriate cue is given. This information is said to be available but not accessible. This may explain why a delirious person can remember a foreign language even if it has not been spoken since childhood. Also this can explain why people who haven't used algebra for years can remember it if they follow a refresher course (Badrick and Hall (1991). Today it is the most appropriate conclusion that most (but not all) of forgetting is cue dependent. ...read more.

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