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Is Forgetting Always a Bad Thing?

March 19th, 2013 8 comments

Many people believe that we can recall events in our life perfectly, like rewinding a movie and watching it over and over again. However, recalling events is a much more complicated process that can be filled with glitches and errors along the way. There are various steps that need to take place for an event to be stored in memory Events that we experience can be processed for meaning and stored for later use in long term memory so when we need to recall an event, the information is stored and retrievable through long term memory. The information in long-term memory is stored so we can recall this knowledge when needed. This information includes the ability to remember a person, the foods we like, and the location of the nearest hospital. The process of remembering these events is called retrieval. Retrieval for memories can vary depending on the content of the information. If the content of the information if very negative, it is forgotten more easily compared to positive or emotionally neutral events. Psychologists Greenhoot, McCloskey, and Glisky (2005) were interested in how adolescents were able to retrieve the memories of family violence that took place during their childhood. Because of their interest, they conducted a study to test whether or not adolescents even recalled the abuse, and if so, how accurate the adolescents’ memories were.

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Categories: Development, Memory Tags: