The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it.
Our brain forgets quickly newly learned information. Spaced repetitions are the most effective approach to internalize.
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The speed of forgetting depends on a number of factors such as the difficulty of the learned material (e.g. how meaningful it is), its representation and physiological factors such as stress and sleep. Furthermore higher original learning also reduces forgetting. The rate differs little between individuals.
My co-winners, Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides, and I wish to thank the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation for this very great honor. We each feel privileged and humbled to be named the winners of the 2010 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.