Accession Number : ADA259746

Title :   Individual Differences in Memory Decay and Retention

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Oct 90-30 Sep 92,


Personal Author(s) : Young, Robert K

Full Text :

Report Date : Jan 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : For nearly forty years the generally held belief has been that there were no individual differences in forgetting which were not the result of differences in original learning. This rather surprising conclusion was based on Underwood's 1954 article in which he looked at the retention of 'fast' and 'slow' learners. Initially, there were large differences between the retention of fast learners and slow learners. As might be expected, the fast learners recalled what they had learned at a much higher level than did the slow learners. But when Underwood then equated for initial learning, an interesting thing happened--the large difference in retention previously observed now disappeared. That is, when the probability of calling out an item was equated for fast and slow learners, the differences in retention between the fast and slow learners also disappeared. Several studies over the years confirmed Underwood's basic findings and it did indeed appear to be that there were no individual difference in forgetting or memory--only individual differences in initial learning.


Subject Categories : Psychology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE