Retroactive and Proactive Interference

The textbook discusses retroactive and proactive interference. One or both of these may be coming into play as you attempt to remember information in your introductory psychology class.


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  1. Reflect and examine what might be interfering with your memory of course material. For instance, have you taken similar classes in the past that are causing difficulties in remembering the new information?
  2. Does the information you encounter somehow impair your memory of the psychology material?
  3. If interference is occurring, what might you do to decrease its effects?

Case Example: Bill parks his car in one of three parking garages downtown when he attends class at MCC (expensive, I know!). One day, he accidentally returns to the wrong garage as his parking memory from yesterday blocked his memory from today. What type of interference would this be? (Proactive or Retroactive? Why?)


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