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OUTLINE ONE OR MORE EXPLANATIONS OF FORGETTING IN LONG-TERM MEMORY AND CONSIDER TO WHAT EXTENT THESE ARE SUPPORTED BY PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH. There are three different explanations to forgetting in the long-term memory. These are; the interference theory and retrieval failure and cue-dependant forgetting. The decay theory outlined in the short-term memory section can also apply to why people forget things in the long-term memory. The interference theory explains forgetting in terms of either proactive or retroactive interference. Proactive interference is when you try and learn something new and past learning interferes whereas retroactive interference is when you try and learn something new but that interferes with past learning. ...read more.


So it may be that the interference effect may not show what is really in the memory, it was shown by the results that the participants remembered more words with a cue, this is known as cue-dependant forgetting. This therefore suggests that it is possible to recover from interference. The retrieval failure and cue-dependant forgetting explanation to forgetting in the long-term memory suggests that the reason why people forget is because they cannot access the memories that are stored. And that people can remember these things when they are given a cue, there are either external or internal cues. Abernethy did some research to support external cues or context dependant learning/forgetting. ...read more.


Other research on this is by Miles and Hardman who found that when people learned a list of words while on an exercise bike they remembered them better when they exercised again then when they was at rest. But does this explanation relate to everyday memory, everyday memory is more procedural. Many of the studies into cue-dependent forgetting are laboratory-based so this may affect the results and draw them further away from real life. Such as after a while remembering how to play a game like ping pong you may not remember all the rules and such but you remember most and re-learn the rest, although there is the re-learning to do cues don't explain it. ...read more.

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