Why Do People Forget?

It is bewildering at times because you have information that you recently learned, yet cannot remember it even though it had only been a while ago when you took notice of it. This is one of the things that baffle people about the memory. There seems to be no sure way of being able to remember everything quickly.

For some people, recalling something even as long ago as a few decades is a piece of cake. You can even hear them say, “I remember it like it was yesterday!” But how is it that for some people forgetting is the norm? Scientists have always declared that what we know about the brain and how it functions, but it is still a vast frontier for study. While modern science and medicine has allowed us to look at the chambers of the brain and monitor its activities, there are still a lot of things that we have not figured out. The area of memory retention and forgetfulness is one of them.

We all know that younger children remember better than adults. Children are usually the first ones to remember a jingle played for a commercial, or a new song on the radio. Adults on the other hand cannot remember the name of a person they were introduced to five minutes ago. It is very frustrating at times. Why do people forget some things yet remember others? There are different ways for people to remember things and there are three ways for the brain to remember things. At the most basic level, the brain takes a ‘snapshot’ that is easily forgotten unless we associate it with things that will make it more recognizable or classifiable for the brain. When we input other sensations with this ‘seed’ of a memory such as scents, sounds and feelings, it becomes part of a memory that is not that hard to forget. The memory gets more solid if it is frequently remembered.

The opposite is part of the reason people forget. That is why in a classroom children are encouraged to touch, taste, listen and play so that the lesson will be firmly rooted in their minds. Unlike role learning which is mechanical, it is thought that giving the lesson additional ‘hooks’ for the memory to latch on is better. Perhaps this is one reason why it is easy to forget the lessons in school, especially the ones that are boring. It is also important that we pay attention so that the snapshot needed for the memory can be established. The brain needs to be healthy at the start for this to be possible. Good nutrition and keeping away from addictive substances have a great effect on how well our brain keeps information. So, if you do not want to forget, try to take more impressions or else you will have people asking why do people forget so easily?

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