Why Do We Forget

Why do we forget?

Why do we forget? Something that annoys us too much. As, because of this forgetting, we face too many problems in our life. Forgetting birthdays, important events, and much more things. Those things become a dispute in our life

Less Attention Makes Us To Forget Things

One reason is that we may not have paid attention to the material in the first place—a failure of encoding. For example, if you live in the United States, you probably have been exposed to thousands of pennies during your life. Despite this experience, you probably don’t have a clear sense of the details of the Coins. (See this for yourself by looking at Figure 1.)

Photo by Mohit Kulkarni from Pexels

Remembering as a short-term memory

The reason for your memory failure is that you probably never encoded the information into long-term memory initially. Obviously, if the information was not placed in memory to start with, there is no way the information can be recalled. But what about material that has been encoded into memory and that can’t later be remembered? Several processes account for memory failures, including decay, interference, and cue-dependent forgetting. Decay is the loss of information through no use. This explanation for forgetting. Assumes that memory traces, the physical changes that take place in the brain when new material is learned. It simply fades away over time (Grann, 2007).

Although there is evidence that decay does occur, this does not seem to be the complete explanation for forgetting. Often there is no relationship between how long ago a person was exposed to information and how well that information is recalled. If decay explained all forgetting, we would expect that the more time that has elapsed between the initial learning of information and our attempt to recall it, the harder it would be to remember it because there would be more time for the memory trace to decay. Yet people who take several consecutive tests on the same material often recall more of the initial information when taking later tests than they did on earlier tests.
If decay were operating, we would expect the opposite to occur (Payne, 1986). Because decay does not fully account for forgetting, memory specialists have proposed an additional mechanism.

Wasn’t Interference with other important details

In interference, the information in memory disrupts the recall of other information (Naveh-Benjamin, Guez, & Sorek, 2007; Pilotti, Chodorow, & Shono, 2009). To distinguish between decay and interference, think of the two processes in terms of a row of books on a library shelf. In decay, the old books are constantly crumbling and rotting away, leaving room for new arrivals. Interference processes suggest that new books knock the old ones off the shelf, where they become inaccessible. Finally, forgetting may occur because of a cue-dependent forgetting, forgetting that occurs when there are insufficient retrieval cues to rekindle information that is in memory (Tulving & Thompson, 1983).

For example, you may not be able to remember where you lost a set of keys until you mentally walk through your day, thinking of each place you visited. When you think of the place where you lost the keys—say, the library—the retrieval cue of the library may be suffixed client to help you recall that you left them on the desk in the library. Without that retrieval cue, you may be unable to recall the location of the keys. Most research suggests that interference and cue-dependent forgetting are key processes in forgetting (Mel’nikov, 1993; Bower, Thompson, & Tulving, 1994). We forget things, mainly because new memories interfere with the retrieval of old ones. After all, appropriate retrieval cues are unavailable, not because the memory trace has decayed.



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