Learning and Long-Term Memory

There is only one mechanism for forgetting information from long-term memory.  Something is forgotten from long-term memory only because its retrieval path is weak.

The only way to mitigate forgetting from long-term memory is by strengthening appropriate retrieval paths. At the present time we are aware of eight techniques which strengthen retrieval paths.

The consensus, until recently was that when a learner failed to learn information it had not been stored in long-term memory.  Proposed remedies were therefore to reread (or otherwise re-experience) the information in the hope that this time it would land in long-term memory.

Current research demonstrates that it is relatively easy to get information into long-term memory (see the diagram).  We have also discovered that if learning has failed the most likely cause is a failure to establish and exercise appropriate retrieval paths from long-term memory.  Proposed remedies are the eight techniques for strengthening retrieval paths listed on the diagram. They warrant repeating here:

  • Retrieval Practice
  • Spaced Retrieval
  • Interleaved Retrieval
  • Elaboration
  • Reflection
  • Generation
  • Calibration
  • Mnemonics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *