, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 193207
First online:
Forgetting functions
 K. Geoffrey WhiteAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Otago Email author
Abstract
Forgetting functions describe how accuracy or discriminability declines as the temporal distance from the event to be remembered increases. Several twoparameter mathematical functions are equally successful in fitting data from a range of studies. The choice of function must therefore be made on theoretical grounds. Consistent with the proposal that remembering follows the principles of discrimination, remembering is specific to the time of retrieval and is independent of the level of performance at earlier times in the retention interval. Empirical evidence for this temporal independence supports constantrate forgetting. Exponential functions are therefore favored descriptions of forgetting functions because they describe how the influence of the temporally distant event declines at a constant rate. A combination of exponential generalization with an exponential decrease in the effect of the temporally distant stimulus holds promise as a theoretical account of forgetting functions.
 Title
 Forgetting functions
 Journal

Animal Learning & Behavior
Volume 29, Issue 3 , pp 193207
 Cover Date
 200108
 DOI
 10.3758/BF03192887
 Print ISSN
 00904996
 Online ISSN
 15325830
 Publisher
 SpringerVerlag
 Additional Links
 Topics
 Authors

 K. Geoffrey White ^{(1)}
 Author Affiliations

 1. Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand