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Beverly R. King

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 48: Repressed and Recovered Memory

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Repressed and Recovered Memory
Repressed and recovered memory

In 1885 the first person to experimentally investigate the properties of memory, German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus (1885/1913), published information on the curve of forgetting, which showed the progression of forgetting with the passage of time. Essentially, this curve demonstrated that (up to a point) as more time elapses, more information is forgotten—at least in the case of rather innocuous material such as nonsense syllables. Ebbinghaus's observations are still valid, more than 120 years later. In 1932 British psychologist Sir Frederic C. Bartlett concluded that human memory is a reconstructive rather than a reproductive process. That is, our memories are never exact duplicates of the experiences they purport to capture but rather are rebuilt from bits and fragments with ...

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