Forgetting curve

I have heard about the “forgetting curve” 3 times in the last 4 days.  I thought with one more repetition, I would remember who developed this concept.

The forgetting curve was developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 based upon personal experimentation.  Through repeated experimentation, Ebbinghaus determined how quickly information was forgotten.  (Memorize random letters and wait 5 minutes.  Memorize different random letters, wait 15 minutes, continue….)  In further experiments he found he found the rate at which information was forgotten slowed when he reviewd the information at spaced intervals (minutes, hours, days, not years, but this works too).  This is the principal and power of review.


This experiment has been repeated using more sophisticated studies and methods.  Being so powerful, students benefit from repeating, but more importantly, are the teachers and trainers who should build in ways to allow for repetition–active use of the information at increasing intervals after delivery of the information.

Ebbinghaus–see I remembered.

Jonathan Shaverbrain, training