The Curve of Forgetting describes how we retain or get rid of information that we take in. however well you know it (where the curve rises to its highest point). Ebbinghaus forgetting curve describes the decrease in ability of the brain to retain memory over time. The issue was hypothesized by Hermann. The Curve of Forgetting graph below (originally called The Ebbinghuas Curve after the German philosopher Hermann Ebbinghaus who developed it in ).

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Ebbinghaus found the forgetting curve to be exponential in nature. See for more details Ebbinghaus memory experiments.

Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve

The forgetting curve In the field of psychology the term forgetting curve describes how the ability of the brain to retain information decreases in time. The results thus obtained were plotted in a graph, which is now referred to as the forgetting curve.

Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. Some learning consultants claim reviewing material in the first 24 hours after learning information is the optimum time forgeting re-read notes and reduce the amount of knowledge forgotten. Inan attempt to replicate the forgetting curve with one study subject has shown the experimental results similar to Ebbinghaus’ original data.

As you can see in the image the forgetting curve becomes flatter and less steep with every additional review, provided the review is made at the correct time see spacing effect. For this reason, one suggestion given to improve memory retention when taking a class is to review your notes and classwork regularly. Cramming is the least effective study method because The Curve of Forgetting will immediately begin to erase the information from your memory.


A contribution to Experimental Psychology. In plain English — the more relevant, meaningful connections you can make with the new information in your mind with things you already know, the better your memory retention over time. The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. Flashcard Learner implements an optimized learning algorithm for learning new information Optimal Short Term Memory Learning. It calculates the optimal intervals between reviews for each individual cards and prepares each day a list of flashcards which you should review before you forget them.

Ebbinghaus was able to prove that the brain literally forgot the vast majority of what it was taught and did so shockingly quickly!

Forgetting curve – Wikipedia

Just before you go to bed, you quiz yourself once more. The image shows what happens to the learning curve after your review the piece of information several times. Two days later without reinforcement.

But, the rate of memory loss decreases and the rate of much forgetting are much slower from then on. Others have compared contemporaneous written recollections with recollections recorded years later, and found considerable variations as the subject’s memory incorporates after-acquired information.

Forgetting Curve | Hermann Ebbinghaus and the theory of Learning

You carry these cards in your pocket or purse. One of them is English-German. Are you fully rested and have you slept enough? According to research, information should be repeated within the first 24 hours of learning to reduce the rate of memory loss.

Ebbinghais difficult is the learned material? It was later discovered that higher original learning also lead to slower loss in memory. Graphing his results, he developed a formula for how long items remain in our memory.


Amnesia anterograde childhood pf psychogenic retrograde transient global Decay theory Forgetting curve Interference theory Memory inhibition Motivated forgetting Repressed memory Retrieval-induced forgetting Selective amnesia Weapon focus. See and feel the difference. Assume that we hear ebbinghaua new terms in class on Monday.

Ordinarily you need to review the new information the same day as not to fall victim to the forgetting curve. Remember to put only one term, question, idea, or list on a card.

The stronger the memory the longer you are able to recall the information. So if you are running a training course at work and wonder how come delegates appear to have forgotten what you trained then the previous day.

Psychology Mind and brain.

The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve – And How To Overcome It

Hermann Ebbinghaus was the first to study the forgetting behavior in an experimental, scientific way. So the point is simple: Do whatever it takes and do not give up. And every time forgetting sets in in the very same way as if you learned the item only once. He concluded that the difference in performance e. Studying in this format means that you immediately begin learning the information in the way a test will ask it. For more information, check out Learn Ebbinghais, Study Less.