The theories of forgetting

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The theories of forgetting

References and Further Reading 1. The Nature of Memory Traditionally, philosophers have likened memory to a storehouse or a recording device.

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In the TheaetetusPlato claims that the mind is analogous to a wax tablet. To perceive is to make an impression on the tablet, leaving behind an exact image or representation of what was perceived. Memory keeps the images and forgetting is a matter of losing them.

Locke and Hume tell much the same story, as do many other philosophers up through the 20th century. On this storehouse view, memory stockpiles experiences and beliefs.

Stored items may eventually degrade or become hard to access, but otherwise do not change see Audi This view is commonsensical.

It explains how it is that we are able to represent the past accurately in our thoughts and recollective experiences. It also explains why each of us, over time, tends to believe the same thing occurrently more than once. Yesterday, Maria believed that she went to high school in Santa Fe and she believes that today too.

During the 20th century psychologists generally abandoned the storehouse view see for example Bartlett and Schacter, though still thinking that memory stores information.

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They believe human memory processing is much more complicated than the mere depositing of items and later withdrawing them.

Memory selectively stores information, expands part of it, combines it with background information and adds data from the context, in which the subject later retrieves the information. In other words, memory generally alters significantly what enters it.

According to the trace decay theory of forgetting, the events that happen between the formation of a memory and the recall of the memory have no impact on recall. Instead, trace theory proposes that is the length of time between the memory and recalling that information determines whether the information will be retained or forgotten. Storage decay theory of forgetting proposes that forgetting occurs because memory traces fade with time. According to this view, time is the culprit. The passage of time causes forgetting. Theories of Forgetting is a narrative in three parts. The first is the story of Alana, a filmmaker struggling to complete a short documentary about Robert Smithson’s famous earthwork, The Spiral Jetty, located where the Great Salt Lake meets the desert.

As a result, recollecting is not the retrieving, but rather the generating of representations of the past. Recollecting actually generates new beliefs about the past.

Empirically minded philosophers of memory also have generally abandoned the storehouse view in favor of this generative view see, for example, Debus and Michaelian a, bbut epistemologists have been slower to shift models.

Since this article covers the epistemological discussion of memory up to the beginning of the 21st century, the storehouse view will generally be implicit. Setting aside how exactly memory works, it will aid our epistemological discussion to get clearer on what memory is of or for. Distinct memory systems allow us to do different things and consist of different networks of rule-governed psychological processes.

Two memory systems that are important to distinguish are declarative memory and procedural memory. Declarative memory is memory of information and events.

The theories of forgetting

Procedural memory is memory for skills and of how to perform actions. Different parts of the brain house, on the one hand, our data about bicycle riding and our riding experiences and, on the other hand, our acquired talent for riding.

This helps explain the familiar phenomenon of finding it easy to do something, yet hard to state instructions for doing it think of swimming, playing a flute, or tying a shoeor vice versa.

Declarative memory divides into semantic or propositional memory and episodic or experiential memory.Storage decay theory of forgetting proposes that forgetting occurs because memory traces fade with time.

According to this view, time is the culprit. The passage of time causes forgetting. Guilford researched and developed a wide variety of psychometric tests to measure the specific abilities predicted by SI theory.

These tests provide an operational . Memory or forgetting’ labels a diverse set of cognitive capacities by which we retain information and reconstruct past experiences, us.

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According to Freud's model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience, and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.

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