Theories of forgetting

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A brief intro to Forgetting and its theories

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Theories of forgetting

  1. 1. According to Munn (1967) “Forgetting is the loss, temporary orPermanent, of the ability to recall or recognize something learntEarlier.”According to Drever (1952) “Forgetting means failure at any timeTo recall an experience, when attempting to do so, or to perform anAction previously learnt .
  2. 2. Types of ForgettingNATURAL FORGETTINGMORBID or ABNORMAL FORGETTINGGENERAL FORGETTINGSPECIFIC FORGETTINGPHYSICAL FORGETTINGPSYCHOLOGICAL FORGETTING
  3. 3. Theories of Forgetting Theories of forgetting can be difficult to test as we may in fact not forget, but have trouble retrieving information from storage. Therefore it is possible that these theories can explain why we are unable to retrieve a memory or why it is distorted.
  4. 4. Theories of Forgetting Two factors involved in forgetting: Accessibility: The information available can be accessed at a specific time/place. Availability: The information is represented in the memory.
  5. 5. Theories of ForgettingFreud: Repression, conscious process of burying memories to protect ego.The emotions associated with the repressed memory may be recovered, or express themselves through:Dream Analysis.Hypnosis.Free Association.
  6. 6. Theories of ForgettingTRACE DECAY THEORYNatural forgetting which takes place due to the decay of memory traces in the brain and due to time.Criticism – does not explain why we dont forget how to ride a bicycle.
  7. 7. WHY FORGETTING TAKES PLACEForgetting in STM.  Trace Decay: Unless information is refreshed or rehearsed will spontaneously fade or decay over time.  Displacement: Only a fixed number of slots in memory capacity. New information will displace old when capacity is reached.  Encoding failure: Because of displacement, this information never reaches the LTM.
  8. 8. Forgetting in LTM.  Interference: More information will be stored and become confused together.  Retrieval Failure: Information may be available but temporarily inaccessible  Motivated forgetting: we may actively work to forget memories. Two basic forms are  suppression- a conscious form of forgetting.  Repression- and unconscious form of forgetting .

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