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            The Interference Theory of Forgetting

     Why do we forget something?  This is an important
question in psychology.   It may reflect memory interference.  
The interference theory of forgetting suggest that we would
forget something because other information learned is
interfering with our ability to recall it.  There are two types of
interference.

Proactive Interference

Proactive interference occurs when something that we
previously learned interferes with remembering newer
information.

      For example, imagine that you took one psychology
course last term, and you are currently taking a psychology
course that is very similar to the psychology course you took
last term.  You are finding it difficult to learn and remember
the information in the psychology course you are currently
taking.  This may be due to the interference with similar
information that you learned in the psychology course you
took last term.

Retroactive Interfernce

Retroactive interference occurs when newer information
learned interferes with remembering previously learned
information.

         
For example, you may have difficulty remembering
what happened at a business meeting over a month ago
because of information learned at a more recent business
meeting.