Explanations of Forgetting

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  • Forgetting
    • Interference Theory
      • Types of Interference
        • Proactive Interference- When your older memories interfere with your new memories.
        • Retroactive Interference-When your new memories interfere with your old memories.
      • Theorists
        • McGeoch and McDonald
          • They discovered that your memories are worse when you are trying to remember things that are similar to each other.
          • Asked participtants to learn list one and recall and a second list and recall afterwards. They changed the similarities between the two lists.
          • The performance of this first list depended on the similarity of the second list. Interference is stronger when the memories are similar.
          • Retroactive interference because the new memories (second list) disrupted the recall of the first list (old memory)
      • Evaluation
        • LIMITATION:Artificial Materials
          • The artificial task makes interference more likely in a lab in comparison to everyday life.
        • STRENGTH: Evidence from lab studies
          • Real Life Studies
            • Alan and Badeley: Asked Rugby players who they have played throughout the season
            • The players who has played games throughout the season struggled remembering who they played at the start of the season.
            • People who hadn't played since the start of the season could remember who they had played. This is retroactive interference because new memories  interfered with the old memories.
        • LIMITATION: The study can be over in 1 hour, we don't learn like this in every day life therefore it doesn't have a true representation
    • Retrieval   Failure Theory
      • Encoding Specificity Principle (ESP)
        • Tulving suggested that we can only recall something when the cue is present in both the encoding and recalling stage. If it isn't present we will not be able to recall.
      • Context-Dependant Forgetting
        • Theorist:
          • Godden and Badeley: They delivered a set of words either on land or in water and they were asked to recall the words in either environments.
          • When mismatching the environments the amount of words recalled significantly reduced. 40% lower.
          • There wasn't the same external cues when on land and in water helping them to recall the different words.
      • State Dependant Forgetting
        • Theorists:
          • Carter and Cassaday gave anti histamine drugs to their patients allowing them to become drowsy and asked them to recall at set of words.
          • When the conditions were mismatched (drowsy and non drowsy) they were unable to recall words as the internal cue wasn't the same.
      • Evaluation
        • LIMITATION: The environments are very different (pressure, temperature) therefore it is hard because the environments aren't usually that different. So it doesn't explain a lot about forgetting.
        • STRENGTH: A lot of psychologists have found the same results, Carter and Cassaday, Godden and Badeley and Michael Eyesnck. Therefore increases the reliability and validity.
        • LIMITATION: Godden and Badeley also repeated their underwater/land experiment but asked them to recognise things not recall them, Perfomence was the same in all. Therefore cue's don't affect the recalling. Only when doing certain ways of testing


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