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                  The  Decay Theory of Forgetting

       One important question concerns forgetting.  One
theory of forgetting is decay theory.  Decay theory is
an important theory in psychology.  Decay theory
suggest that we forget something because the memory
of it fades with time.  This theory would suggest that if
we do not attempt to recall an event, the greater the
time since the event the more likely we would be to
forget the event.  Thus, this theory suggests that
memories are
not permanent.
   
  There are other theories of forgetting.  Memory for
an event may reflect interference. The interference
theory of forgetting suggest that we would forget
something because other information learned is
interfering with our ability to recall it.  
  
    One problem with the decay theory of forgetting
is that we do not know whether the failure to recall
something reflects that it is no longer in our memory,
or that it reflects retrieval failure.  Perhaps it is still
there but we cannot retrieve the memory for some
reason.