What Causes Us To Forget Things
Explanations for Forgetting
Reasons for Forgetting
One reason for forgetting is because of Retrieval Failure. This is when a piece of information seemed to have vanished from your memory, or it's there, you just can't find it. An explanation for this is because of decay theory. Every time a new theory is formed in your head, a memory trace is formed. Over time, if the information isn't retrieved and rehearsed, it will eventually disappear. However, this Retrieval Failure theory isn't completely accurate, as some people have long term memory.
Another reason for forgetting things is Interference. This is when another memory competes or interferes with another memory. There are two types of Interference; Proactive Interference, which is when an old memory causes difficulty to remember a new memory, and Retroactive Interference, which is when new information interferes with your power to remember information learned long ago.
Another reason for forgetting is Failure to Store. Whenever you end up forgetting a piece of information, it is most likely because the piece of information never made it into the long-term memory at all. Information is encoded in order to go to long-term memory, however if there is an encoding failure, sometimes that stops information from going into long-term memory.
One more reason to forgetting things is Motivated Forgetting. This is when you purposely try and forget certain memories because they were traumatic or a horrible experience for you. There are two types of Motivated Forgetting; One is Suppression, which is when you consciously forget things, and Repression, which is when you unconsciously forget things.
Sometimes information that is processed will not be remembered because it is not important. For example if you like at a loonie, you will probably remember that the dollar had a picture of a loon on it. However, you may not remember the year it was made. This is because all your brain needs to know is how to identify the loonie from every other coin. This is why the brain doesn't remember things that aren't important or necessary.
What causes you to forget things can be very simple. Basic things like lack of sleep, dehydration, use of medications, drinking alcohol, stress, anxiety, depression, and even eating too much sugar and sweets can lead these things to occur and cause you to forget things. These things could alter what your mind has remembered and stored. Don't forget that sometimes forgetting something isn't always a bad thing, as your brain only wants to remember the important things to make remembering easier.
Ways to Prevent Forgetting
This diagram explains where our memory is stored and where things we forget go. Items, people, or even colours of things can be forgotten. If we do not pay attention and do not focus on a certain piece of information, it will not be stored and will be forgotten.
This picture explains that in order to remember pieces of information, we need to understand and focus on that piece of information as soon as it is taught and happens.
Reasons to Forget
This picture explains other reasons to forget. Things that uninterest us and distracts us can cause us to forget what we learned or what we wanted to say or do. Failure to Receive information and Storage Failure means that pieces of information was not able to be understood and was not properly stored in our brains.
Reasons to Forget
Here is more information on solutions for memory loss and forgetting things.