A Journal and a Journey to Learning

Home » Notes and Resources » Forgetting and Retrieval

Forgetting and Retrieval

Kendra Cherry suggests the forgetting is a normal process happening to everyone. At such, she stresses that we rely on some methods so that we can still remember important future events. We jot down notes in our daily planner and diary, stick a note in the fridge or in our phone’s calendar. However, Cherry added that forgetting is specifically not about actually “losing or erasing information from our long-term memory” but “a failure in memory retrieval.”


According to Cherry, Psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus scientifically study forgetting. Ebbinghaus tested his memory and published his findings in 1885, The result was plotted in what now referred to as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve. The curve showed a relationship between forgetting and time. In the beginning, knowledge is lost very quickly after it is learned. It also revealed that forgetting does not continuously decline until all knowledge is lost because at certain level, the amount of forgetting stabilizes. This means that the stored knowledge in the long-term memory is also stable.

ImageCherry states memory retrieval as a process of accessing stored knowledge in the long-term memory. She proposes 4 basic ways to access stored memories. These are:

1. RECALL – accessing stored knowledge in the absence of cues or prompts. One good example of recall is answering a fill-in-the-blank test.

2. RECOLLECTION – involves reconstruction involving logical structures, partial memories, stories or clues. An essay exam exemplifies recollection as the individual remembers bits of information and reconstructing the remaining information based on his/her partial recollections.

3. RECOGNITION – identifies information after experiencing it. Answering a multiple choice quiz involves recognizing the correct choice out of a group of available answers.

4. RELEARNING – study again the learned information. It will become effortless to remember if the knowledge is learned again.

Image from http://helpingpsychology.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/iStock_000011818352XSmall.jpg


Cherry, K. (n.d.). Forgetting: When Memory Fails. In About. com. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/p/forgetting.htm

Cherry, K.(n.d.). Memory Retrieval. In About.com. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/memory_retrival.htm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: