What Causes Us To Forget Things

Explanations for Forgetting

Reasons for Forgetting

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you suddenly forget something? For example, you go to the fridge to get something, but when you open the fridge, you forget why you're there? Well, it's not just from your age. It's because of several other reasons. Let me explain why we tend to forget things.

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

Now that you know the reasons for forgetting things, here are some ways to prevent forgetting things. Get lots of sleep, be active, eat healthy, drink lots of water, don't use certain medications that could cause memory loss (if prescribed, ask for substitute medication), don't do drugs, relax and relieve any stress or anxiety, and get lots of sunshine. You can also rehearse and focus to remember things easily, for example studying for a test, write things down, or create something that helps you remember. Doing things like these can contribute to preventing forgetting things and memory loss.
Why we Forget

Here is more information on reasons for forgetting things.

Memory Loss

Here is more information on memory loss and common causes of forgetting things.

Solutions for Memory Loss/Forgetting

Here is more information on solutions for memory loss and forgetting things.

Why Do We Forget Things?
Here is a video on why we forget things. Enjoy!
Why Do We Forget?
Here is another video on why we forget. This video covers some things I haven't gone over, therefore you will receive more information on this topic through this video. Enjoy!

Thank you!

Thank you for taking your time reading this poster. I hope you were well informed on why we forget things, both the reasons and solutions.