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Research studies that have suggested that decay and displacement are two possible explanations for forgetting in the STM. Outline & evaluate explanations for forgetting in the STM

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Introduction

Research studies that have suggested that decay and displacement are two possible explanations for forgetting in the STM. Outline & evaluate explanations for forgetting in the STM Forgetting is when the memory has disappeared and it is no longer in your memory or the memory is still stored in the memory system but for some reason you cannot retrieve it. Trace Decay is an explanation for the short term memory; it assumes that memories leave a trace in the brain. So this theory is suggesting that forgetting occurs as the fading of a memory trace. Waugh & Norman were psychologists who did experiments on trace decay and they presented participants with a series of 16 numbers. ...read more.

Middle

These experiments supported the trace decay theory. Decay is difficult to measure and there will always be other factors influencing forgetting and it would be impossible to isolate the traces from these factors. For example in Peterson and Peterson study where they had to recall trigrams it isn't clear whether the trigrams have been decayed or if the numbers from the interference task have displaced the trigrams. Displacement is another theory which try' to explain memory in the STM. It says that you are replacing the information with newer information because the STM has a limited capacity. This theory does focus on capacity. This theory uses George Millers theory with 7 is the magic number +/- 2. ...read more.

Conclusion

the earlier numbers were presented earlier in time and so this could be because they were forgotten as a result of trace decay. Shallice recognized this and looked deeper into this. He said that although time did affect recall, the number of items following the probe number seemed to have a much greater effect so this suggests that the displacement theory provides a better explanation in forgetting in the STM. So although these researchers have tried to prove their theories the evidence is inconclusive but the experiments suggest that these theories are possible. More research and evidence is needed. Measuring and trying to prove forgetting is hard to measure and control and many factors will influence forgetting which would be out of the experimenter's control. ?? ?? ?? ?? Anna Clarke ...read more.

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