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Outline and evaluate 2 explanations of forgetting in Long-term memory.

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Introduction

Outline and evaluate 2 explanations of forgetting in Long-term memory. Interference plays a major part in forgetting in long-term memory. This explanation says that one set of learning interferes with another set and it clears out the memory. In experiments the more similar the information is, the more likely interference will happen. A distinction has been made between two types of interferences. The are proactive and retroactive. The word proactive means when your early/old memories are disrupted or displaced by new information. An example of proactive interference is giving out your old address instead of giving your new or current address. The word retroactive means when later or new memories disrupt with the old memories. An example of retroactive is when you can remember your old new house address and forget the old, as it has been displaced by the new information. ...read more.

Middle

The players who played the least games due to illness seemed to remember more. This suggests that interference and not decay was the main factor. The advantage of this study was that it was a realistic situation. However McGeoch and McDonold also did research about interference. Participants were asked to learn a list of adjectives and set different learning tasks between interval and recall. The forgetting rates increased if the material was to be learnt between interval and recall, were similar to the adjective. This study demonstrated by McGeoch and McDonold, found that forgetting rates increase as the function of similarity of the interfering material, so it is unrealistic. The evidence for interference has mainly came from laboratory studies, which are artificial and designed to produce interference. They have very little relation to what happens in everyday life. Experimental evidence indicates that interference cannot be the complete explanation. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Tulving and Osler investigated retrieval failure, they gave the participants a list of words each which was paired with a weakly connected cue word like city-dirty. When the cue was given e.g. city as a cue for dirty, the recall was considerably better. The evidence for forgetting from long-term memory in the retrieval failure section is that the evidence found supports both theories done by the psychologists. However this study could be argued that the research is lacking in ecological validity as the experiments are set in the laboratory. There has been some evidence from outside the labs, like people attending a school reunion, will sometimes find that retrieval cues trigger memories that they didn't realise they had. The difficulties in trying to research about this theory is that it's not possible to disprove the ideas that long-term memory is pediment. It's possible that information is stored into the long-term memory but it can't always be retrieved until the appropriate cues are given, but this still can't be disproved. Jess McSevney ...read more.

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