The Forgetting Curve

In the 19th century, a German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus, dedicated to studying memory, discovered what is now known as the forgetting curve, according to which just a few hours after learning something new, we forget a significant percentage. And finally, a few days later we ended up forgetting everything.

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ResearchGate

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Is There Any Hope to Avoid Forgetting to Occur?

Although this finding could lead us to conclude that studying something new does not make sense, because sooner or later (especially earlier) we will end up forgetting practically everything, this same German psychologist also asserted that as memories are consolidated, the forgetting curve is flattened more; and with that, a point is reached where we will forever remember what new we learn.

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The Solution

According to Ebbinghaus, and with the way he modeled the forgetting curves (a decreasing logarithmic form), every time something new is learned, a large percentage is forgotten in the hours that follow. 

However, that trend changes if we repeat what we study spaced in time, because the speed at which the retention percentage decreases is going to be lower when we repeat more something.

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