Memory Forgetting Memory researchers certainly haven’t forgotten Hermann Ebbinghaus , the first person to do scientific studies of forgetting, using himself as a subject. He spent a lot of time memorizing endless lists of nonsense syllables and then testing himself to see whether he remembered them. He found that he forgot most of what he learned during the first few hours after learning it. Later researchers have found that forgetting doesn’t always occur that quickly. Meaningful information fades more slowly than nonsense syllables. The rate at which people forget or retain information also depends on what method is used to measure forgetting and retention. Retention is the proportion of learned information that is retained or remembered—the flip side of forgetting. Forgetting Curve A forgetting curve is a graph that shows how quickly learned information is forgotten over time. Ebbinghaus made use of forgetting curves to chart his research on memory.
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Winter '09 term at Broward College.