How Forgetting Aids Heuristic Inference

Psychological Review 112 (3):610-628 (2005)
Some theorists, ranging from W. James to contemporary psychologists, have argued that forgetting is the key to proper functioning of memory. The authors elaborate on the notion of beneficial forgetting by proposing that loss of information aids inference heuristics that exploit mnemonic information. To this end, the authors bring together 2 research programs that take an ecological approach to studying cognition. Specifically, they implement fast and frugal heuristics within the ACT-R cognitive architecture. Simulations of the recognition heuristic, which relies on systematic failures of recognition to infer which of 2 objects scores higher on a criterion value, demonstrate that forgetting can boost accuracy by increasing the chances that only 1 object is recognized. Simulations of the fluency heuristic, which arrives at the same inference on the basis of the speed with which objects are recognized, indicate that forgetting aids the discrimination between the objects' recognition speeds
Keywords *Forgetting  *Heuristics  *Inference  *Memory  *Recognition  Heuristic Modeling  Mnemonic Learning  object recognition
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1037/0033-295X.112.3.610
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,812
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Relationship Between Autobiographical Memory and Perceptual Learning.Larry L. Jacoby & Mark Dallas - 1981 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 110 (3):306-340.
Decision Processes in Perception.JohnA Swets, W. P. Tanner Jr & T. G. Birdsall - 1961 - Psychological Review 68 (5):301--40.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Epistemology of Forgetting.Kourken Michaelian - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):399-424.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Epistemology of Forgetting.Kourken Michaelian - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):399-424.
Forgetting: Interference or Decay?Dominic W. Massaro - 1970 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 83 (2p1):238.
Extended Knowledge, the Recognition Heuristic, and Epistemic Injustice.Mark Alfano & Gus Skorburg - 2018 - In Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Adam Carter (eds.), Extended Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
Automated Choice Heuristics.Shane Frederick - 2002 - In . Cambridge University Press. pp. 548-558.
Retroactive Inhibition and Recognition Memory.F. McKinney - 1935 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 18 (5):585.
Forgetting Your Scruples.Adam Bugeja - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2889-2911.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
7 ( #637,474 of 2,293,671 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #409,792 of 2,293,671 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature