Memory - Forgetting

Topics: Hermann Ebbinghaus, Memory processes, Psychology Pages: 6 (2045 words) Published: April 18, 2013
Psychology (Memory) - Forgetting

Definition: forgetting mean failure at anytime to recall an experience, when attempting to do, or to perform an action previously learned. Many Psychologists are interest in process by which forgetting take place, the researcher who found this field was Hermann ebbinghaus (1850-1909), he invented a lot of claptrap syllable in order to access a pure learning, one is the rate at which we forget. He used little or no meaning material because he knew learning new information is subjective by what we already know, therefore he decided to create a learning situation that were free of past knowledge. The way we forget stuff is highly predictable, when we gain some new information or knowledge, the forgetting take place right away. Ebbinghaus found that he forgot significant amount of the information within 20minutes, almost half of the useless information was forget ton in an hour, and almost two third of the information was forgotten by the end of the day. In 1973 Yarn ell and lynch took this experiment further by experimenting football player immediately after the injury and after twenty minutes of injury. They discovered that immediately after the injury the player remembered what strategy they and their team player were using but after twenty minutes they could not remember anything about the strategy; it completely disappeared from their memory. This may be because of damage also known as amnesia. Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was also one of the first scientists to study forgetting. He performed experiments in which he took himself as a subject to test his memory, by using three letter nonsense syllabuses. He used different words to avoid similarities of words that he went through in past. And to this he tested his own memory for period ranging from 20minutes to 31days.

His results plotted a curve, also known as ebbinghaus forgetting curve, which showed the relationship between forgetting and time. Due to this he found out that information is lost very quickly after it is learned, cause like how information was learned and how likely it was rehearsed play very important role in memories lost.

Another important point was the curve showed that the forgetting doesn’t take place until all the information is lost, its shows after a certain point the decline in forgetting curve is off. This indicates that some of the useful information is stored in the long term memory, which is stable.
Earliest idea about how forgetting take place, by gradually decaying if they are not reinforced by recalling, however the idea was virtually impossible to investigate. There may be some events that we remember very clearly throughout some years and sometime we are unable to remember thing that we do daily or see them; inability to recall accurately the things that are very familiar to us, are one of the oddest phenomena of forgetting.

We do forget information because we don’t allow information to store into our long term memory, also known as encoding failures (prevent information to be stored in long term memory). In a well known experiments, subjects were asked to reconigize U.S penny out of a group of many incorrect pennies, the result were that subjects were able to remember the shape and color of penny but forgot the minor details, and the reason behind this is that the details which are necessary for differentiating the pennies from other coins were encoded in our long term memory In early centuries of forgetting, psychologists came up with two theories, 1) Memory trace simply fades with time, this was sensible to them and most things seem to fade with time, but experiments showed that this theory was wrong. In 1935 wilder Penfield a neurosurgeon in McGill University started an experiment. A patient lay in the operation theatre with the top of her head skull off while Dr. inserted slim electrodes in her brain, the idea behind was to trigger a little...
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