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Forgetting in long-term memory - The interference theory.

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Forgetting in long-term memory. The interference theory Forgetting means when the information that is stored in the brain is no longer there. The two main reasons why people forget is due to interference and trace decay, trace decay is when the participants forget the required information as they have not rehearsed it many time. Interference is when something gets in the ways of there learning for example music, you may listen and work at the same time however a small section in your brain is concentrating on the music which requires more attention and gradually you forget what you were doing or going to do. Psychologists in the 1930s 1940s and 1950s thought that the reason people forgot things was mainly due to the interference. It was suggested that one way of learning gets in the way of another and therefore causes the mind to forget the previous thing. That previous learning then interferes with the present learning, which is known as proactive interference. However when learning disrupts the memory for earlier learning this is known as retroactive learning. ...read more.


Words Used: image, picture, photograph, landscape, portrait, paints, pencils, colours, black, white, oil, light and camera. Prediction: I predict that the group that had no interference will be able to recall more words than the group who have the interference. Findings: We found that the participants that had not been kept in a scented room recalled more words than the participants that had been kept in a scented room. We also found that the people would put the word smell or fragrance or a word associated with the smell as one of the words from yesterday. TEST 1with all participants TEST2 no smell TEST2 with smell Student Number Number of words recalled Student Number Number of words recalled Student Number Number of words recalled 1 9 1 5 1 3 2 6 2 6 2 3 3 8 3 7 3 4 4 9 4 5 4 2 5 7 5 6 5 3 6 7 6 5 6 5 7 7 7 5 7 3 8 9 8 5 8 4 9 8 9 4 9 5 10 7 10 5 10 3 11 6 12 5 13 10 14 10 ...read more.


The room also had factors that could contribute to the participants including more words on their sheet. Our semantically similar words were all related to the word "picture" in some way, and the room we used had many things that could have reminded the participants of quite a few of them. Also, we performed the experiment on a limited amount of people, and if we done it on more, we would have had a greater and broader view on the results and conclusion. The experiment was only done once and was rushed as the buzzer for our next lesson was taking away our time, and prevented a relaxed and calm environment for our participants to undertake our test. If I were to perform the experiment again I would do it at least three times and work out an average. Also, we only used semantically similar words, which do not require a photographic memory to remember. In other words, they are not too hard to remember. We could have used separate groups and tested them on acoustically similar, semantically similar, acoustically dissimilar and semantically dissimilar words to find a much more accurate conclusion. ...read more.

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