Nature of forgetting

Inability of an individual to bring to a conscious plane a thing remembered, is forgetting. Forgetting is a natural process. According to psycho-analysts, forgetting is natural process. According to psycho-analysts, forgetting is a way of saving oneself from unpleasant experiences. There is a relationship between the amount of forgetting and learning and the duration between learning and recalling.

Ebhinghous carried out an experiment on forgetting and on the basis of it, he came to the conclusion that a person forgets 42% after 20 minutes, 46% after an hour, 64% after 9 hours 79% after 30 days of what he has actually learnt. It means that the speed and amount of forgetting is maximum just after learning or remembering it.

Types of forgetting: (1) Active forgetting, (2) Passive forgetting. (1) Passive forgetting: In this kind of forgetting a person has no hand in it. This   kind of forgetting neither intentional nor deliberate. It takes place automatically. (2) Active forgetting: When a person makes some deliberate efforts to forget a thing it is called active forgetting.

 Causes of forgetting:

  1. Effect of time: Every experience leaves some impression on the mind of a person. With the passage of time this impression grows dim and later on it is effaced. New impressions take place of the old ones. New experiences replace the old experiences.
  2. Emotions: Emotions and excitement also lead to forgetting. When a person is afraid, angry under influence of love he   forgets certain things. Under the influence of emotions and excitement the nervous system grows slack and weak For example whatever is learnt in the presence of a strict teacher is forgotten faster than whatever is learnt under liberal and sympathetic teacher.
  3. Doubt: Due to doubt there is psychological weakness and the confidence is lost. In such a situation man forgets even necessary and useful things.

 4 Method of teaching and learning: Forgetting is also based on method of learning. If the thing is well explained by the teacher the child remembers it for a long time whereas if the child has not understood certain things he is likely to forget them fast.

  1. Unpleasant experiences : Unpleasant experiences are easily and quickly forgotten. If any experience leaves a bitter impression on the mind of a child or hurts his self –respect he tries to forget those experiences deliberately.
  2. Two famous laws of forgetting:

(a)  Atrothy theory: This theory lays emphasis on practice or exercise. According to this theory if our impacts or impressions of   experience are not available to our conscious world, for a very long time, they become inactive and become destroyed. It is also said that a thing that has not been retained in the mind for long also is quickly forgotten.

(b) Interference theory: According to this theory new experiences or marks try to do away with old experiences or marks. The old experiences are always replaced by new experiences .According to this theory new lesson should not be learnt immediately after one lesson has been learnt.

  1. Complexes: Complexes also have an adverse effect on memory. If certain complexes have been formed they bring about the forgetting.