Psychology - Paper 1 - Memory - Explanations of forgetting

What is interference?
Where two lots of info become confused in memory resulting in forgetting one or both pieces of info.
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What are the two types of interference?
Proactive and retroactive
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What is proactive interference?
This is when old learning prevents the recall of new information. Older memories disrupt the recall of newer memories. Pro means working forwards so interference is from old to new.
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What is retroactive interference?
Is when new learning prevents recall of old information. Newer memories disrupt the recall of older memories. Retro means working backwards so interference is from new to old.
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When is interference more likely to happen?
When the two lots of info are similar.
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When is interference less likely to happen?
When there is a gap between instances of learning?
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What is one strength of interference?
McGeoch and McDonald gave Ps list of 10 words to remember. New list was either: unrelated, synonyms of original word, 3 digit no.s, antonyms of original words, nonsense syllables. Control group who had no new list. Ps then recalled 10 original words.
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What were the findings of McGeoch and McDonald for the supporting evidence of interference?
Mean number of words recalled: No list (4.5 words), digits (3.68), nonsense (2.58), unrelated (2.17), antonyms (1.83) synonyms (1.25). Shows interference is strongest when memories are similar.
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What is 1/2 weaknesses of interference?
Artificial nature of lab studies. Stimuli used in experiments involves word lists and they don't reflect real life. This means that the interference explanation may be limited and doesn't account for real life.
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What is the 2/2 weaknesses of interference?
It is a limited explanation. Interference really only explains forgetting when the two sets of information are similar. This means that the explanation is limited in explaining forgetting in the majority of real life settings.
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What is retrieval failure?
This is when the information is available but cannot be accessed because of the absence of appropriate cues.
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What is a cue?
A trigger of info that allows us to access memory.
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What are the 3 types of cue?
Context, state, organisation.
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What is a context cue?
When forgetting can occur when external environment is different at recall.
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What is a state cue?
Forgetting can occur when internal environment is dissimilar at recall e.g. mood or level of intoxication.
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What is an organisation cue?
Forgetting is less likely to occur when material is organised as organisation can create cues.
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What is a 1/2 strength of retrieval failure? (Support for contextual cue)
Godden&Baddeley: Tested forgetting in divers, learn land-recall water, learn land-recall land, learn water-recall water etc. Accurate recall 40% lower in non-matching groups because external cues available at learning weren't available at recall.
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What is 2/2 strength of retrieval failure? (Support for state cue)
Overton: Ps had to learn material when drunk or sober. Recall was worse when the internal state was different at recall. Shows that retrieval failure can explain forgetting and is a valid explanation of forgetting.
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What is the weakness of retrieval failure?
The environment has to be very different to result in forgetting. Testing in a different room is unlikely to make any difference. This means the explanation can't always be applied to real life applications.
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What are the practical applications of retrieval failure?
Retrieval failure has been used to improve eye witness testimonies. Reinstating the context is one of the 4 key principles of cognitive interview. This mean the explanation has practical applications.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What are the two types of interference?


Proactive and retroactive

Card 3


What is proactive interference?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is retroactive interference?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


When is interference more likely to happen?


Preview of the front of card 5
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