It doesn’t help to remember an old password we no longer use or a pin code we’ve replaced or a friend’s unintentional insult.When we’re in a new relationship, we’re better off not remembering the intimacies of a former relationship.However, participants who experienced greater thinking-induced forgetting (e.g., a greater memory deficit on thinking vs.Tags: Problem Solving For Grade 1Time Mangagement EssayLatex Paper Based ThesisEntrepreneur Business PlansEmily Dickinson Personal Response EssayEssay On TrustworthinessTopics For Dissertation In Marketing
At the extreme, there is an annual World Memory Championship, in which people compete by memorizing, among other things, as many digits in pi as they can.
The benefits of excellent memory are obvious because people rely on memory on a regular basis — to remember the grocery list, the name of a new colleague, or the location of the car keys.
Gonzalo, López, and Martín (2013, ) (PDF, 107KB) tested this kind of adaptive forgetting in Iberian green frog tadpoles.
Tadpoles were exposed to a neutral chemical cue (derived from zebra fish) paired with an alarm cue (a chemical cue derived from dead tadpoles).
Do we really want to remember all the faces we see at the airport?
Do we want to remember our anxiety while waiting to board a plane or the obliviousness of the person behind us tapping a carry-on against our leg?Many of the relentless details of our daily lives are best forgotten.When we walk into a room and forget the reason we came in, we may criticize our faulty memory.Forgetting allows us to manage our complicated lives – encouraging us to remember what’s important, inspiring us to experience the present more fully, and restoring us after painful events in our lives.Some may object and say that forgetting is undesirable and often unsettling, but the benefits of forgetting are considerable – and necessary.In a subsequent experiment, tadpoles were exposed to the zebra fish cue–alarm cue pair, followed by separate sequential exposures to the zebra fish and alarm cues alone.In this case, there were no differences in behavior between the tadpoles tested with the zebra fish cue and those tested in clean water.2) Forgetting makes experiential learning possible. Such learning proceeds when specific memories of similar events coalesce into general knowledge.If we repeatedly go out to French restaurants, for example, we will acquire a fuller understanding of French cuisine – even as we forget many of the individual meals.Tadpoles were then tested on a separate day with either the zebra fish cue or clean water.Tadpoles tested with the zebra fish cue exhibited less movement than did those tested in clean water, demonstrating that they had learned to recognize that the zebra fish cue signaled danger when it was previously paired with an alarm cue (moving less in the presence of a predator helps tadpoles avoid detection).