Reasons Why You Forget What You Read

Reasons Why You Forget What You Read

You must constantly remind yourself that you have a very capable brain, and this is true. Intelligence or a “good” memory are not fixed traits. You don’t forget what you read because your brain is incapable of processing the information you provide it with. Most of us have similar brain functions.

Surprisingly, we sometimes forget because we have to. When it comes to everyday experiences, we don’t want to save every piece of information our brain receives. Some information will eventually be rendered useless. In fact, the most common reason we forget is that we focus on understanding the world rather than remembering it in our daily lives. We sometimes forget to deal with life’s pains and traumas, such as the loss of a loved one.

In other words, memory is designed to be selective, and there are advantages to forgetting out-of-date information. As we go through life and gain new experiences, our brains are constantly being upgraded.

Reasons Why You Forget What You Read

While the reasons I mentioned above are some good reasons why we forget, the six reasons I’d like to share in this article are for students who find reading mostly unproductive. Knowing why you forget what you read can help you remember it better.

 Inadequate attention to what you wish to remember

The first cause of forgetfulness is a failure to pay close attention to what we want to remember. As a result, the experience does not leave a lasting impression on us.

We forget because we do not pay close enough attention to what we want to remember in order to firmly imprint it on our minds. A good memory is thus dependent on paying attention to what needs to be remembered. Because it is impossible to effectively attend to more than one thing at a time, devote your full attention to what you want to remember.

 Lack of revision or rehearsal

Most of what is learned is forgotten within a few days unless it is constantly reviewed to keep it fresh in the mind. As previously stated, your brain constantly reorganizes information in response to new experiences. As a result, rarely revisited experiences or concepts that are rarely used or relearned gradually fade away.

Much of what we read is forgotten almost as quickly as it is learned. The little that remains after that is gradually forgotten. The forgetting curve postulates that memory retention decreases over time. This curve depicts how information decays over time when no effort is made to keep it.

Spending time each day memorizing information, such as for exams, will greatly reduce the effects of the forgetting curve. According to some learning consultants, the first 24 hours after learning information is the best time to re-read notes and reduce the amount of knowledge forgotten. Evidence suggests that waiting 10-20% of the time until the information is needed is the best time for a single review.

 Interference of other activities during or just after study time

According to research, other activities we engage in after learning something interfere with our ability to retain and remember it later. In other words, we forget what we’ve learned because we’ve learned new things since then.

How much you will remember is determined by how similar the interfering activity is to what is being learned. When the interfering materials or activities are very similar to the material being read, interference is most beneficial.

Interference can also occur when what happened previously interferes with what is happening now. Work that comes before learning has been shown to interfere with memory retention. What happened prior to our study time may cause us to forget what we read as well as what happened afterwards.

Some memories are immune to the negative effects of interference. Because various consolidating factors influence how much information is remembered, these memories do not necessarily follow the typical forgetting curve. For example, forgetting what your lecturer said in that “seemingly endless” class is easier than forgetting your first trip to Dubai.

Repression of what is being learnt for some reasons

Repression is the act of suppressing strong emotions and desires by not allowing them to be expressed, so that they cease to exist. I already gave an example of this at the beginning of this article in relation to forgetting painful memories.

Repression occurs when we prevent ourselves from becoming aware of some tendency active in our mind that opposes the desire to recall by a strong resistance or desire not to recall.

We often forget memories that conflict with our comfort or self-esteem more easily than those that do not.As a result, what is suppressed may not be unpleasant in and of itself, but may have been associated with something unpleasant. If you are certain that you have mastered a concept in physics, for example, repression caused by illusions of competence may prevent you from better committing that concept to memory.

Unhealthy Nutrition or Diet

It has been discovered that the food we eat has an effect on our brains. People suffer physically and mentally as a result of two factors: the food they eat and the food they refuse to eat, according to research.

Eating foods like highly seasoned dishes, a lot of meat, salt, and stale food has an effect on our brains. Certain substances, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine, have a negative impact on our brain when consumed in excess. Some foods and items contribute to a poor nutritional diet by interfering with blood and energy circulation in the body and mind.

Lack of good rest and adequate sleep

Sleep is one of the most neglected aspects of most students’ lives. Are you so preoccupied with studying or working that you’re not getting enough sleep? Most adults require 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night; children and adolescents require significantly more. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, one of the first things to suffer is your memory. Another article I’ve written discusses how sleep influences how you learn and remember.

Sleep is required for the formation of important memory links and connections. When you first learn something, it is very fragile; the imprint on your brain is very delicate. When you sleep, your brain goes over that information again and forges stronger connections, making it a more solid part of your knowledge base. In other words, if you don’t get enough sleep, your memory will suffer. If you have been sleeping poorly, getting enough sleep is one of the simplest and quickest ways to improve your memory.

To summarize, human memory is a complex, brain-wide process that is fundamental to who we are. The more you understand about your memory, the better you’ll be able to improve it.