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Theories of Forgetting
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Another reason that Lisa performed better may be because her rate of forgetting the vocabulary was
much faster than Rohan’s.
much slower than Rohan’s because she associated the new words with words already in her memory.
slower than Rohan’s, because she spent two months learning the material.
the same as Rohan’s, but she retained a greater percentage of the vocabulary
Jenny had a brain injury two years ago. She now ﬁ nds that although she remembers and recognises her old
friends, she cannot remember people she has met since the injury.
She is most likely suffering from
Proactive interference is the term used when
previously learnt information makes it difﬁ cult to remember new information.
a head injury causes information known before the injury to be forgotten
new information makes it difﬁ cult to remember previously learnt information.
a head injury makes it difﬁ cult to remember information learnt after the injury.
When phoning her sister at work Olivia asks the receptionist for her sister by her original surname, rather than
her married surname, which Olivia’s sister now uses.
According to the interference theory of forgetting this is an example of
According to the forgetting curve, the rate of forgetting is typically
rapid at first, then followed by a gradual steady decline, and finally a stable period where very little forgetting occurs
steady over a two-week period
a stable period where little forgetting occurs, followed by rapid forgetting
steady for the first 20 minutes, then rapid for the next 8 hours, then a gradual period of steady decline
Fred suffered a stroke.
The forgetting caused by Fred’s stroke is an example of
an organic form of forgetting
Jamie, who is 26 years old, met a former primary school classmate at the pizza shop but could not remember his name.
Jamie felt sure that the man’s name started with V and that he would eventually remember it.
According to the motivated theory of forgetting, memories that are forgotten
may be accessed whenever the person is asked to remember the event
are lost forever because the memory trace no longer exists
are lost forever because happier memories have taken their place
may be accessed at a later date as the memory still exists
Bob has a new job. Whenever people ask him the phone number of his employer, he can only remember his OLD employer's number. This is an example of
Rohan and Lisa were studying for a Japanese examination. Lisa memorised her Japanese vocabulary over two months by
associating each new word with words and topics that she had previously learnt. Rohan learnt the Japanese vocabulary
during the last few days before the examination by repeating each word over and over. Lisa’s examination result was
much better than Rohan’s.
It is likely that Lisa performed better than Rohan on the examination because
she probably did not use mnemonic devices.
Rohan made the task much more difﬁ cult through elaboration.
maintenance rehearsal is a very effective method for transferring information to long-term memory
she used elaborative rehearsal which made the new vocabulary more meaningful.
If Louisa wanted the participants in this experiment to retain a larger number of the nonsense syllables in long-term
memory, she could suggest that they
use narrative chaining
learn the list and then learn a different list.
learn the list over an extended period of time.
use maintenance rehearsal
According to the interference theory of forgetting, information is most likely to be forgotten when
similar information is learnt after a considerable delay.
different information is learnt soon afterwards.
different information is learnt after a considerable delay
similar information is learnt soon afterwards.
Louisa wanted to investigate some of the work done by Ebbinghaus on the forgetting curve. In her ﬁrst experiment,
participants learnt a list of 13 nonsense syllables. Their memory of these items was then tested at different points in
time. Louisa’s research produced results that were similar to the forgetting curves in the work by Ebbinghaus.
80% of the information
10% of the information
50% of the information
20% of the information
Matilda is 75 years of age. She is ﬁ t and healthy and is not suffering from brain disease or injury.
Over the last few years, Matilda has most likely
performed more poorly on recognition tasks than previously.
not experienced large memory losses.
found it difﬁcult to remember procedural memories
found it difﬁcult to learn new material.
Andrew is a healthy, elderly man who has retired from his career as a professor of engineering. He has very clear
memories of his childhood but ﬁ nds that he occasionally forgets some of the people and technical information
associated with his career. In his retirement, Andrew has enjoyed studying physics.
According to the decay theory of forgetting, Andrew’s forgetting of career-related information would most likely be
poor consolidation of the memory trace at the time of learning.
fading of the chemical or physical memory trace for the information.
interference by new information acquired through his study of physics since his retirement
the slowing of the central nervous system that accompanies old age.
Which theory explains that forgetting is a result of a fading memory trace?
levels of processing
When Ebbinghaus conducted his studies of forgetting, he used nonsense syllables rather than real words
to prevent the use of maintenance rehearsal.
to reduce the potential inﬂ uence of past experience with the word meanings.
because they are easier to learn.
because the work of previous researchers had shown that nonsense syllables work best in this type of study
According to decay theory of forgetting
early memories are lost because of competition from the many subsequent memories formed
the rate of forgetting increases with age
a memory is lost because the physical trace fades
the right cues for retrieval are lost over time
When Susan was seven, she broke her arm and experienced extreme pain. As an adult, Susan tried to forget this traumatic
According to Freud, the type of forgetting experienced by Susan is an example of
decay of the memory trace over time.
Which theory of forgetting provides the best explanation for Jamie’s inability to recall his former classmate’s name?
lack of consolidation
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