Retrieval-Induced Forgetting Theory

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Forgetting is assumed to be a passive process.

Retrieval-induced forgetting refers to the phenomenon in which retrieval of some studied items causes temporary inaccessibility of other studied items when both types are associated with a common retrieval cue. According to this view, the attempt to retrieve a target item also activates other items associated with the same retrieval cue(s), creating competition and requiring that the competing items be selected against. Intrinsic to such selection is the inhibition of competing items, which is then presumed to impair their subsequent recall. Thus, RIF can be thought of as an adaptive process that functions to resolve interference from competing information in order to facilitate
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Forgetting is something that one does purposely. It is a negative experience. The apparent inconsistency may be explained by examining the mechanism involved in retrieval-induced forgetting. Anderson and his colleagues (Anderson et al., 1994; Anderson & Spellman, 1995) conclude that retrieval-induced forgetting results from the suppression of selected-against responses. There may be interrogation techniques that can ameliorate the effects of retrieval-induced forgetting. One such possibility is the "cognitive interview" developed by Geiselman and Fisher (Fisher, Geiselman, & Amador, 1989; Geiselman, Fisher, MacKinnon, & Holland, 1985). Because one of the primary goals of the cognitive interview is to encourage witnesses to use a variety of retrieval routes in their memory search, the retrieval variability afforded by such a technique, …show more content…
Second, the inhibition caused by retrieval generalizes to a variety of cues with which one might test that inhibited item, as suggested by cross- category inhibition (Anderson & Spellman, 1995). This result strongly favors an inhibitory interpretation of retrieval- induced forgetting over other plausible non-inhibitory ones, such as blocking. Third property is whether related items are inhibited depends on whether they interfere during the retrieval-practice of to-be-practiced items (Anderson, Bjork, & Bjork, 1999; Anderson & Shivde, 1998, 1999) suggesting that related items get inhibited for a good functional reason. Finally inhibition appears to be restricted to those items that are not integrated with the retrieval target and that impede selective retrieval of that item (Anderson & McCulloch,

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