Monday, June 24, 2013

Is forgetting an intentional act? Why or why not.

     I do not believe that forgetting is an intentional act. The reasons why are that if an individual intentionally tries to forget a certain subject he or she actually strengthens his or her memory of that subject, and forgetting in primary memory occurs because of interference and decay; therefore one cannot intentionally forget. Two types of interference occur, which are proactive and retroactive interference. When new learning is interfered with by older learning then proactive interference occurs. When later learning interferes with earlier learning retroactive interference occurs (Willingham, 2007). Decay contributes to forgetting because it is a spontaneous decomposition of the representation over time (Willingham, 2007). For an individual to try and intentionally forget a subject brings attention to that subject and that subject becomes harder to forget. Intentional a subject cannot be forgotten however by not intentionally trying to forget a subject it may be forgotten.

Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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