Memory: the Types of Forgetting

Encoding Failure – The process of memory retrieval is like searching a book from the library. Forgetting due to encoding failure means that the book you are searching for is not available in the library. In short, you did not successfully transfer and store the information in long-term memory. For example, your professor is discussing about the different types of information stored in long-term memory. Because you’re thinking about what you’re going to do in the upcoming activities of your school organization, you’re distracted, encoding only a few tidbits of information your professor wrote in the blackboard, but even those were a blur. Surprisingly, your professor gave your class a pop quiz. No matter how hard you tried to remember the details, they escape you. That’s because you failed to encode and store those information in long-term memory.

Forgetting Due to Aging

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1. Alzheimer’s
-is a type of dementia(is a serious loss of global cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normalaging.) that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

Forgetting Due to Retrieval Failure
– A retrieval failure is when you have the memory, but it’s unable to come to mind. (THE FOLLOWING ARE UNDER RETRIEVAL FAILURE)

– According to the interference theory, the information we encoded along with the needed information gets in the way of learning, and consequently, remembering. Proactive interference means that earlier learned materials interfere with memory retrieval, while retroactive interference means that materials learned later interfere with memory retrieval. The interference theory explains well the serial position effect, in which we remember information located in the first (primacy effect) and last (recency effect)
parts of a list better than the middle.

2.Generic Cues
-Using similar cues for different information makes retrieval difficult and forgetting a lot easier. For example, in a multiple-choice test, an item asks which of the two positive movements in psychology (humanistic movement and positive psychology movement) is concerned about changing the negative trends in psychological research. If your cue for both options is the word “negative”, it will be difficult for you to pick the right answer because one of the options, the humanistic movement, is also concerned about changing something negative, specifically the perspective of psychologists on the capacity of the human person.

– According to Daniel Schacter’s (2001) decay theory, transience is the disintegration of the neurochemical memory trace as time goes by. This happens when simultaneous activation of associated neurons is rarely followed.

– Repression is a kind of motivated forgetting where anxiety-provoking information is pushed in some inaccessible part of the conscious mind. Repression is often blamed why post-traumatic stress disorder occurs in some people years after the traumatic event happened.

-So why are we often unable to retrieve information from memory. One possible explanation retrieval failure is known as decay theory. According to this theory, a memory trace is created every time a new theory is formed. Decay theory suggests that over time, these memory traces begin to fade and disappear. If information is not retrieved and rehearsed, it will eventually be lost.

– Amnesia, a kind of extensive forgetting, is mostly caused by some neurological problems.

Anterograde amnesia is a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused the amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.

Retrograde amnesia where most memories created prior to the event are lost while new memories can still be created.

Transient global amnesia – a temporary loss of all memory. The patient with transient global amnesia also finds it very hard to form new memories – he/she has severe anterograde amnesia. The loss of past memories is milder. This is a very rare form of amnesia. Traumatic amnesia – memory loss caused by a hard blow to the head.

Wernike-Korsakoff’s psychosis – this type of memory loss is caused by extended alcohol abuse. The disorder tends to be progressive – it gradually gets worse and worse over time.

Hysterical (fugue) amnesia – this is a very rare phenomenon. Patients forget not only their past, but their very identity.

Childhood amnesia (infantile amnesia) – the patient cannot recall events from early childhood.

Posthypnotic amnesia – events during hypnosis cannot be recalled.

Source amnesia – the person can remember certain information, but does not know how or where they got that information.

Blackout phenomenon – amnesia caused by a bout of heavy drinking. The person cannot remember chunks of time during his/her binge.

Prosopamnesia – the person cannot remember faces. People can either acquire prosopamnesia, or be born with it.

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Memory: the Types of Forgetting. (2016, Jun 12). Retrieved from