Analyzing The Primary Cause Of Forgetting

2264 Words10 Pages
A variant of the classic Brown-Peterson task was used to examine the primary cause of forgetting. Thirty-four participants, in two waves of data collection, with their age ranging from 20 to 22 years, recalled words after differing inter-trial intervals and retention intervals (ITI-RIs) along with altering number of syllables. The number of syllables was changed from wave one to wave two. These ITI-RIs were manipulated to illustrate the effect of time-based decay or temporal distinctiveness on forgetting. Temporal distinctiveness did not yield significantly better recall compared to decay, which suggests that the primary cause of forgetting in the short term can be attributed to both decay and temporal distinctiveness. These results do not support earlier research using the presentation and recall method that found temporal distinctiveness was the primary cause of forgetting. Also, number of syllables did not significantly increase recall which contradicts the word length effect.
Keywords: short-term memory, decay, forgetting, temporal distinctiveness, syllables

Primary Cause of Forgetting Over the Short Term
Forgetting in the short term, when we quickly lose information from memory, is a common circumstance for all of us. After hearing a combination for a lock for example, and asked a few moments later to open the lock, our memory of the combination may be lost because our attention was diverted for those few seconds. Why does this happen and how can we
Get Access