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The idea of the interference theory of forgetting is that some learned material blocks the memory of other learned material.

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Interference theory The idea of the interference theory of forgetting is that some learned material blocks the memory of other learned material. This theory of interference works both ways: * Proactive interference/inhibition - already learned information hampers person's ability to remember new material (Loftus, 1900.p.393). 1. Encounter interfering material 2. Encounter material to be remembered 3. Memory test for material to be remembered * Retroactive interference/inhibition - learning new information hampers memory of older material (Loftus, 1900.p.393). 1. Encounter material to be remembered 2. Encounter interfering material 3. Memory test for material to be remembered keppel and Underwood (1962) were interested in how Petersons practice trails affected those in the actual experiment. Whilst there was no evidence of forgetting on the first trial, there was some on the second and even more on the third. Although forgetting can occur on the first trial their findings showed that performance did not decline until the second trial, suggests that PI (the learning of the first list interferes with recall of the second list.) ...read more.


* When people have to learn, for example the response 'bell' to the stimulus 'woj', the word 'bell' is not actually learned in a laboratory, since it is already part of people's semantic memory. What is being learned is stored in a different type of LTM, called episodic memory. Semantic memory is much more stable and structured than episodic, and so is much more resistant to interference effects. Emotional Factors in forgetting According to Freud (1901), forgetting is a motivated process rather than a failure of learning or other processes. When memories are suppressed they can be remembered with effort and sufficient cues. Repressed memories, on the other hand, cannot be remembered by conventional strategies or increasing cues. When a memory is repressed, the person is not consciously aware of the memory. Levinger and Clark (1961) looked at the rotation of associates to negatively charged words, such as angry, fear etc compared with those for neutral words, such as window, cow etc. ...read more.


This may result it source confusion, in which the content and the source become dissociated. However, the fact that false memories can be created does not mean that all recovered memories are false. Flash back memories This is when the brain has recorded an event like the scene caught in the glare of a camera's flashlight. The vividness of flash back memories is no guarantee of their accuracy, and we only have flash back memories of events, which have personal relevance and consequences. Brown and Kulik's study showed that there is a special mechanism in the brain, which is triggered by events that are emotionally arousing, unexpected or extremely important. This results in the whole scene becoming 'printed' on the memory. Flash back memories are durable because they are frequent rehearsed and reconsidered after the event. However, the detail of people's memories and their vividness are not necessarily signs of their accuracy. Studies, which have failed to find evidence of flash back memories, may have concerned events, which lacked personal consequences for the participants. Jessica Thorne ...read more.

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