Averell, L and Heathcote, A, The form of the forgetting curve and the fate of memories, Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 55 pp. 25-35. ISSN 0022-2496 (2011) [Refereed Article]
© 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Psychologists have debated the form of the forgetting curve for over a century. We focus on resolving three problems that have blocked a clear answer on this issue. First, we analyzed data from a longitudinal experiment measuring cued recall and stem completion from 1 min to 28 days after study, with more observations per interval per participant than in previous studies. Second, we analyzed the data using hierarchical models, avoiding distortions due to averaging over participants. Third, we implemented the models in a Bayesian framework, enabling our analysis to account for the ability of candidate forgetting functions to imitate each other. An exponential function provided the best fit to individual participant data collected under both explicit and implicit retrieval instructions, but Bayesian model selection favored a power function. All analysis supported above chance asymptotic retention, suggesting that, despite quite brief study, storage of some memories was effectively permanent.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Research Group:||Cognitive and computational psychology|
|Research Field:||Decision making|
|Objective Division:||Expanding Knowledge|
|Objective Group:||Expanding knowledge|
|Objective Field:||Expanding knowledge in psychology|
|UTAS Author:||Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||82|
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