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The causes of forgetting

University of Geneva

1 semester

Project description

Though forgetting information that we try to maintain for a short period of time such as a phone number or a direction is a ubiquitous phenomenon, the causes of this rapid forgetting remain undecided. The project aims at testing the hypothesis that time plays a causal role in this phenomenon, something that has not yet been empirically established in cognitive psychology. For this purpose, we have developed in our lab computer-paced memory tasks in which participants have to maintain series of to-be-recalled items (e.g., letters) while performing some intervening task (e.g., solving arithmetic problems) the duration of which is manipulated. Based on our model of working memory, the Time-Based Resource-Sharing model, we predict that recall performance should be a function of the duration of the intervening activity. The project involves two or three experiments on adults and requires a good training in experimental cognitive psychology.

Duration of participation in the project can be flexible.

The project  is NOT available in Spring 2015.

Number of places avaialbel: 1 per semester.

Pre requisites

  • Bachelor in psychology.

Faculty Department

The department of psychology of the University of Geneva is situated close to downtown Geneva. It is located in a splendid building that hosts lecture halls, library, offices, labs, and a cafeteria. The department accepts about 200 students per year and has Masters Programs in clinical, developmental, affective, social, and cognitive psychology. All classes are taught in French, but the lab language is English.

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