‘I forgot’ – The science behind forgetting

Have you ever walked into a room only to forget what you needed? Or opened the pantry only to forget what food you were looking for? I have these forgetful moments daily.

I am about to start my mid-semester break which sounds exciting. But first, I have mid-semester exams.Yuck!

With the amount of time I have spent studying, I have found myself forgetting about everything else I have to do. So it got me thinking, what is the science behind forgetfulness? Is there a reason I am forgetting every little thing at the moment?

Maybe my brain can only handle so much at one time, or maybe I am just a
forgetful person. Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus found in his research that within about 20 minutes of reading the paper, people often forget about 42% of what you learned or read. Within 1-hour people can forget up to 56%.

Although there is no one reason for forgetfulness there are 3 common explanations. The first is retrieval failure which is the inability to recall a memory without some kind of reminder. An example of this is when you cannot remember the name of a certain singer but when one of their songs comes on you
suddenly remember. The second reason for forgetfulness is inference. This happens when similar thoughts or memories get confused. The last is ineffective coding which is where you simply fail to move the information from your short term to your long term memory.

Try and guess below what categories the following memory mistakes fall into (retrieval, inference, coding):
● You meet someone new and you are so busy trying to make a good first impression that you forget their name
● You order an ice cream but the server mixes up your flavour with the person before you
● You can’t remember what job your mum asked you to do before she went out and only remember when you hear her come home.

However, scientists say that forgetting may actually be the brain’s strategy for processing incoming information. Our brain is not a filing cabinet to remember everything but a computer for making smart decisions.

Hopefully, my brain will kick itself into gear and remember some things during my exams though….

Do you guys every experience forgetfulness? What’s your funniest story? Comment below!

1. Who is the main person or group of people in this news article?

2. What was the key event from the news article?

3. Where did this event take place?

4. When did this event take place?

1. Find a quote from the main person in this news article?

2. In your own words describe what happened in this news article.

3. Find out where this event took place and include some information about this place.

4. Tell us when this event happened and explain what might happen in the future.

5. Explain in your own words why this event took place.

Current Events Web
Find the Who, What, Where, When, How and Why in the article to complete this worksheet.

I Think Because
Share what you think about the article and explain why.

My Questions
Write a question map about questions that you have after reading the article.

News Review
Give the news article you have read a review

Write what you KNOW about the topic in the article, what you would LIKE to find out and then what you have LEARNT.

Newspaper Bingo
Play newspaper bingo. Find a number of different articles to complete the grid.

Questions and Answers
Write a set of questions and then their answers after reading the article.

The Big Idea
Find the big idea by highlighting the 5 W’s and 1 H. then select 25 of key words associated with the article.

Word Investigation
Vocabulary exercise where students find key words within the article.

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2 months ago

oh, wow! this is cool!

2 months ago

good idea

2 months ago


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1 month ago


its me beautiful person, sorry i'm just sassy
its me beautiful person, sorry i'm just sassy
1 month ago

my most embarrassing moment forgetting was when i was little i forgot to close the door and the next day my house had a ton of sheep in it!!!!! 😅

Last edited 1 month ago by its me beautiful person, sorry i'm just sassy
19 days ago

i just forgot i went swimming yesterday!



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