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Memory: Ebbinghaus and the forgetting curve
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Memory: Ebbinghaus and the forgetting curve - Theories on forgetting - Psychology: Memory and Cognition
Psychology - Memory: Ebbinghaus and the forgetting curve
Ebbinghaus  discovered that information that was forgotten followed a
typical pattern or curve when plotted on a graph. He labelled this a
forgetting curve.  It is a graphical representation of the amount of
information retained as a function of time since learning  the
information. Ebbinghaus found that after an hour, approximately 50% of the
information is forgotten. The rate of forgetting then seems to level out
and by the 31st day after learning, 28% of the information is retained.
However, if the information holds meaning for the learner or is complex,
the rate of forgetting is not as great.
A typical forgetting curve demonstrating the rapid loss of information
in the first 20 minutes and the stabilisation of forgetting after about a