Forgetting

Javier Pedroche and Bailey Carter

Why I Chose This Topic

I Chose to study forgetting because I would like to know why people forget things they knew earlier in their life. I also think that this research will be helpful to others by maybe showing them why they forget and therefor they could find ways to not forget as easily as before.

Why People Forget

Along with many other subjects that have to do with the brain, no one knows for sure why we forget, but there are two main reasons people seem to agree on: The information is inaccessible to you at the moment and you could possibly remember it later, or the brain simply takes that information out, making it unavailable ever. Whether you remember something or not also depends on if you store the memory in your long term memory or short term memory.

The Brain

There are a few things that are happening in your brain when you forget. One of the reasons could be because that specific memory is decaying, which means if you don't practice remembering that memory then you will forget it. Also, every time you remember something, your brain is actually reconstructing the entire memory from scratch, so when you forget something, the reconstructed memory just wasn't put into your brain in the right way for you to remember it.

Research and Psychologist

Herman Ebbinghaus was an early researcher on the subject of memory and why we forget. His experiments were mostly self studies, and the most known is when he tried to see how long he could remember nonsense words. He made a chart called the Ebbinghaus Curve of Forgetting. It showed a great amount of memory loss for the first few hours and days, and very gradual memory loss after this. Ebbinghaus realized we remember better if we study for short periods of times with breaks in between.

Interesting Stuff

1. When you think of a memory, you are just thinking of the last time you remembered the memory.
2. Forgetting happens the fastest after recently learning something
3. Forgetting makes brain power more available for other tasks.
4. We can forget the exact words someone said but still remember the meaning of the phrase
5. Content that is not understood is usually the first to be forgotten