chapter  7
43 Pages

Forgetting in Short-Term Memory

In this chapter we withdraw somewhat from the abstractions of primary and secondary memory in order to examine a more tangible problem for theoretical analysis: A subject who has demonstrably learned a small message can under some conditions forget it within less than a minute if he is prevented from rehearsal by a distractor task. Why? Short-term memory tasks of this sort have offered persuasive evidence for choosing from among confl icting theories of forgetting and the data are relevant to forgetting from both primary and secondary memory.