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Excerpt from The Curve of Forgetting, Vol. 20 The problems that present themselves in connection with the topic of forgetting are (1) the rate at which forgetting progresses, (2) the form of the curve showing the relation of forgetting to the lapse of time, and (3) whether there are any constant relations between either the rate of forgetting or the shape of this curve, on the one hand, and, on the other, the kinds of subject matter or the kinds f reagents, or the amount or manner of the practise or learning. The first application of modem scientific methods in the study of memory and of forgetting was the work of Ebbinghaus, which he published in 1885. Ebbinghaus assumed that when experience has weakened in its susceptibility to recall the remaining association strength can be measured best by the number of repetitions that it saves in relearning. Another person served him as subject in preliminary experiments; but in the principal experiments Ebbinghaus acted both as experimenter and subject. As he admits, his results are, therefore, of much less value especially for general psychology. The material learned in the experiments in forgetting consisted of '163 series, each containing 13 nonsense syllables. Every syllable contained a consonant, a vowel and then another consonant. Ebbinghaus took especial pains to avoid any succession of letters or of syllables that might suggest devices in learning. He read a series and then recalled as many syllables as possible until he reproduced the whole series once without an error. Whenever a series could not be promptly recalled in its entirety he read the remainder from the paper. The rate was kept constant at 150 syllables per minute by means of a metronome. Seven of the series were memorized one day and one was relearned at each of seven intervals of various lengths. The data of the shorter periods were the average results of from 12 to 16 series, and those of the larger intervals of from 22 to 26 series. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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