Hermann Ebbinghaus's forgetting curve is a widely recognized theory in the field of memory that outlines the rate at which we tend to forget information over time. According to this curve, after we learn something, we typically retain approximately 60% of the information within the first 20 minutes, 45% after one hour, 35% after nine hours, 25% after six days, and 21% after 31 days. These percentages may vary depending on the specific information being learned, but the curve generally demonstrates that we tend to forget the majority of what we learn within the first few days.
The Timeframe of Forgetting Rates
The forgetting curve describes the rate at which we tend to forget information over time. Depending on the specific information being learned, the exact shape of the curve may vary, but in general, it shows that we tend to forget the majority of what we learn within the first few days. To maintain long-term retention, it is important to review the information regularly. However, the rate at which we forget the information tends to decrease over time, meaning that the longer we go without reviewing it, the slower the rate of forgetting becomes.
As an example, consider a situation in which you learned a list of 20 words on Monday. If you do not review the list at all, you may be able to recall only 6 of the words on Tuesday. If you do not review the list again, you may be able to recall only 5 of the words on Wednesday. This pattern continues as the rate of forgetting slows down over time, but you will still continue to forget some of the words.
To help prevent this decay and reinforce the information in your memory, you can utilize the spacing effect by reviewing the list of words at regular intervals. This is why it is important to review information regularly, even if it seems like you already know it well.
The Spacing Effect
The spacing effect is the concept that information is better retained when learned over a series of spaced sessions rather than a single massed session. This is because spaced review sessions allow the information to be reinforced in our memory, helping to prevent decay. The spacing effect has been well-established in research and is a widely used technique for improving memory and retention.
To take advantage of the spacing effect, you can create a study schedule that includes regular review sessions. For instance, if you want to remember a list of words, you could review the list several times on the first day, then again a few days later, then a week later, and so on. This spacing of review sessions allows the information to be reinforced in your memory and helps prevent decay.
Memoo: A Spaced Repetition App
One tool that can help you take advantage of the spacing effect is Memoo, a spaced repetition app. Memoo uses algorithms to determine the optimal intervals for reviewing information based on your personal learning rate. This means that you get personalized review sessions to fit your individual needs and schedule.
In addition to spaced repetition, Memoo also offers a range of other features to help boost your information retention. These features include sesssion notifications, visual aids, and active engagement in study sessions to help you better understand and remember the material.
According to the forgetting curve, we tend to forget most of the information we learn within the first few days after learning it. However, by using techniques like the spacing effect and tools like Memoo, we can increase our information retention and enhance our ability to remember important information over the long term. Regular review sessions, whether through a tool like Memoo or a self-created study schedule, can help boost our retention and improve our memory.