What is the Ebbinghaus curve?

In fact, remembering and forgetting processes are now relevant for every person, because every day people have to absorb a huge amount of information. And in this case the Ebbinghaus curve, which is widely used in various psychological techniques, will help you.

Of course, people are interested in additional information. What does the curve of Ebbinghaus' memory look like? What were the researches based on? How to remember information quickly and permanently? Answers to these questions will be useful to many readers.

Hermann Ebbingauz: brief biographical note

The Ebbinghaus curve

Before considering the features of the forgetting curve of Hermann Ebbinghaus, it is worthwhile to learn more about the scientist himself. He was born in January 1850 in Bremen. At the age of 17, he began to study history and philosophy at the University of Bonn, but his training was interrupted by service in the army during the Franco-Prussian War. Nevertheless, at the age of 23 he graduated from the university and received the title

of Doctor of Science, after which he continued to study philosophy, and later on the peculiarities of the functioning of the human brain.

Investigation of the memory of

The forgetting curve of Ebbinghaus

To his mental experiments, the result of which is the Ebbinghaus curve, the scientist started in 1879.The object of the study was Herman himself. He tried to explore the patterns of mechanical memorization.

The experiments were conducted in two stages( each lasted about a year) and provided for the use of cards with meaningless syllables. On each of the 2,300 cards, the scientist recorded short, meaningless syllables, for example, "hibi", "shod", etc. Syllables were selected in such a way that they did not cause any associations or facilitate the memorization of individual cards that could be madein the results of the experiment the error.

The scientist tried to remember the words on the cards, which he pulled out of the box in random order. Thus, Ebbinghaus tried to study the properties of memory, for example, measuring the time that is necessary in order to forget the learned information. The scientist also experimented, trying to understand how many repetitions of the material are needed for better memorization.

Curve of forgetting Ebbinghaus

The memorization curve of Ebbinghaus

The results of researches of the scientist were recognized by doctors from all over the world. The memory curve of Ebbinghaus is still widely used and published in every textbook of experimental psychology. What did the scientist discover?

The Curve of Hermann Ebbinghaus demonstrates that within the first hour after an unmistakable repetition of the material( it is not just about cards with syllables, but almost all of the learned information), 60% of the data is forgotten. The scientist also proved that 10 hours after memorization, not more than 35% of the learned information remains in memory. Further, the process slows down, but data loss continues. According to the results of the study, after 6 days after studying, about 20% of the general information remains in memory.

How can I quickly learn the material?

The memory curve of Ebbinghaus

After analyzing the curve, it can be found that without recurrence 70% of the material is forgotten within the first week. But, of course, the Ebbinghaus curve is not the only thing the scientist worked on. He also managed to develop a scheme of effective and, most importantly, rapid memorization.

In order to learn and capture the necessary information in memory, the following diagram should be adhered to within two days:

  • immediately after the reading is finished, you need to repeat the material once more;
  • after twenty minutes the information should be repeated one more time;
  • after eight hours of reading you need to remember again;
  • , you can then take a break - a quarter repetition follows after 24 hours.

It is believed that such a scheme helps to avoid losing the bulk of the facts. By the way, the testimonies of people who have tested this technique on their own testify that it really works. For two days you can remember almost any information, and without much difficulty.

How to remember information for a long time?

Hermann Ebbinghaus curve

Despite the fact that the above scheme allows you to quickly learn the material, in due course information is still lost. In the process of research, Hermann Ebbinghaus also derived a formula for long memorization. The diagram of it looks like this:

  • immediately after reading the material should be repeated again;
  • second repetition should follow in 20-30 minutes, as in the previous version;
  • next time it is recommended to repeat the material after 24 hours;
  • after two or three weeks the information needs to be recalled again( reread the source or abstracts);
  • in 2-3 months the material is worth repeating again.

Certainly, some information will eventually be lost, but the main data will remain in memory, and for a long time.

Edge effect

In the process of research, H. Ebbinghaus discovered a number of interesting regularities. And one of them was called the "edge effect".What is its essence?

There is a simple example. If you read the list of words, then, most likely, you will remember only the first and the last. Information from the middle of the list will be harder to remember. The scientist has proved that the beginning and the end are best absorbed. For example, if you retell the text, then its beginning and ending are remembered clearly, but it takes more effort to memorize the middle.

By the way, this feature of the human brain works not only with lists and texts. The edge effect is actively used in exploration and some other areas. If a person begins to communicate with an abstract topic, then he asks about something important for him, and ends, again, talking about the little things, most likely, you will remember only the beginning and end of the conversation.

Interference and its features

Curve of forgetting Hermann Ebbinghaus

Interference is called mixing of similar memories. If two memories are similar to each other, the old information will interfere with the reproduction of the new one. For example, if you changed a bank card that has been used for many years, then in the first few weeks( or even months) it will be difficult for you to remember the new pin code, because old knowledge will interfere with it.

By the way, this effect is often used by lawyers, confusing the witnesses with the help of incorrect, but close to the truth clues.

If you need to memorize a large amount of information, then the study of similar material must be spread over time. For example, when preparing for the exam, it is worthwhile to learn the information, so that each other follows dissimilar questions.

Other regularities

As you can see, the Ebbinghaus curve is not the only thing that the scientist managed to create. In addition to the above-described interesting properties of memory, he was able to identify and several more patterns.

For example, the scientist has proved that meaningful memorization is much faster than mechanical memorization. The study included learning a lot of meaningless syllables and memorizing a piece of text from Don Juan by Byron. Information that makes sense is remembered about nine times faster.

It is also recommended to learn the whole text. For example, do not learn a poem by stanzas - it needs to be read completely.

The scientist was able to see one more regularity. If you increase the number of repetitions per day, then the speed of memorization does not increase from this. It is not necessary to re-read 20-30 times the same thing, it is unlikely to provide the desired effect.

It is worth paying attention to one more interesting feature. If the subject knows that in the future the material he is trying to learn is useful to him, then memorization happens much faster.

And another specialist who receives new data relating to his field of activity or knowledge, much more quickly remembers everything, since the information obtained is built into the context already formed in the mind. Between existing knowledge, logical relationships are formed, which allows you to memorize better. A person who does not quite understand the meaning of learned data copes with this task much more slowly.