Memory is a strange and very interesting thing. It can play tricks on us when we least expect it or when we desperately need it. One of the fascinating things about our memories is that we tend to forget our keys but we have no problem recalling the color of our favorite toy from when we were 6. We’ve all been victims of trying to remember someone’s name or a song title but just couldn’t. So why is it that we can’t recall something when we need it? It’s true that we’re bombarded with tons of information every day, but is this the only reason? Here’s what you should know about why we forget things:
We have a memory but we simply can’t access it.
This is called retrieval failure. This means you know that the memory is stored somewhere but you are unable to retrieve the information. This can happen when we don’t access certain memories regularly.
Failure to store.
Sometimes, we have trouble storing a memory on long-term. In this case, distractions play a very important role. As a result, we may find it difficult to remember information we take in if our minds are distracted with something else.
We form new memories.
This is called interference because new information can interfere with old one and cause a bit of confusion. Think about it: where would we be if we could recall absolutely everything? Our minds couldn’t probably function.
We want to forget stuff.
What happens when we consciously and voluntarily want to forget things? This is called motivated forgetting and it happens when we repress bad memories or worse, traumas.
These are the main four reasons why we forget. But much like distractions and interruptions, multitasking also plays a huge role in our forgetfulness. Switching back and forth between activities or tasks makes it harder for us to actually focus on one only.
There you have it! Stay tuned for part 2 where we talk about what we can do to help our memories!
We hope you found this interesting! Don’t forget (pun intended) to share with all your friends!