The psychology of Forgetting

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On many occasions, I have found myself forgetting information I have read over and over again. I can relate my forgetfulness to retrieval failure where I have failed to recall certain information about a particular subject. This usually happens because of absence of cues as in cue-dependent forgetting.

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According to this mechanism, one lacks access to a specific memory amassed in the Long term memory (LTM) (Mathy & Jacob Feldman 362). Chunking can help to make good use of my short-term memory through the grouping of similar or non-similar information. As a result, these small chunks make it easier for me to remember certain information, especially before an exam or test. Consequently, I have been able to successfully store more information with chunking and this means better grades.

People’s ability to recall information, faces, plans and events is extraordinary (Wixted 236). However, sometimes, we find that we are having problems in remembering information that we do not consider forgettable we accumulate so much information on a daily basis that some of it becomes hard to retrieve from our memory. If this happens, then we are said to have forgotten. Forgetting is an instinctive act that comprises of not remembering information, or simply not retaining information that we previously acquired in either our long-term or short-term memories. Usually, forgetting is created by interfering learning, which is a type of learning that takes the form of an unconsolidated memory makes it difficult to retrieve information from consciousness. We must bear in mind that when one forgets, he remembers that he has forgotten something, that is to say, that he is aware that he had information that is no longer there (Gobet et al., 238). Therefore, forgotten information does not simply disappear: instead, it is hidden in the unconscious framework of our memory.

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