Cognitive Psychology

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What are the reasons for you to forget or fail to remember important information?  

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a good question for which there are several theories and causes. The first is retrieval failure. The concept of retrieval suggests that memories are latent in our minds and can be "retrieved" at any time. However, retrieval can become difficult or impossible due to something known as "decay theory." According to decay theory, every time a memory is created, a new memory trace is created. If the information is not periodically retrieved, it will decay and fade.

There are other theories on this subject, including that of interference. This states that a new memory, particularly if it is similar to an existing memory, can warp and manipulate an already existing memory. This can also work the other way around, and an old memory can manipulate a new one.

Sometimes, forgetting is simply a matter of a memory never being created in the first place. This...

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