How Do We Forget?

forgettingBriefly describe three ways that apparent “forgetting” may occur.

Most of what we forget was never encoded in the first place (perhaps due to lack of attention), retrieval failures may occur when the context for retrieval is different than when the information was encoded (such as state of mind, mood, intoxication, location, atmosphere, company etc), and there can be storage failures in memory, where proactive memories (old memories interfere with new ones) or retroactive memories (new memories interfering with old ones) – and inferences (very similar memories merging and interfering). Stress can also impair encoding.

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One Response to How Do We Forget?

  1. There are certain things I remember very well, and some things I can never remember. For instance, I cannot pair the title of a movie with what happens in it. I can watch a movie one day and not associate it at all with the title the next day. I will also forget which actor is which during a movie, especially if they all have brown hair and beards and white skin and similar clothes. But I guess since I’m not a movie fanatic, this doesn’t really cause too much of a problem 🙂 I also can’t tell the difference between Tom Hanks and Bill Murray no matter what I do.

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