Blocking is a concept in cognitive psychology, which refers to the situation when an individual fails to recall information that they have previously learned, due to the interference of other information. It is a common phenomenon that occurs in everyday life and can have significant implications for learning and memory.
What Is Blocking?
Blocking occurs when an individual fails to retrieve previously learned information, even though they have successfully learned it before. This can happen when new information interferes with the retrieval of old memories, or when the individual has difficulty accessing information that is related to the Target memory.
Examples of Blocking
One example of blocking is when you are trying to remember a person’s name, but you are unable to do so because another name keeps popping into your head. This interference from the other name is preventing you from accessing the correct memory.
Another example of blocking is when you are trying to recall a specific event, but you are unable to do so because there are too many similar events that are competing for space in your working memory.
Theories of Blocking
There are several theories that attempt to explain why blocking occurs. One theory suggests that blocking happens because new memories interfere with the retrieval of old ones. This theory argues that as we learn new information, it becomes more difficult for us to access older memories.
Another theory suggests that blocking happens because we have difficulty discriminating between similar memories. According to this theory, our brains may struggle to differentiate between similar events or pieces of information, making it harder for us to recall specific memories.
How Can We Overcome Blocking?
There are several strategies that can be used to overcome blocking and improve memory recall. One strategy is called spaced repetition, which involves repeating information at increasing intervals over time. This strategy has been shown to improve long-term retention and reduce interference from other memories.
Another strategy is called elaboration, which involves linking new information to existing knowledge. By making connections between new and old information, we can improve retrieval and overcome the effects of blocking.
Blocking is a common phenomenon in cognitive psychology that can have significant implications for learning and memory. By understanding the causes of blocking and using effective memory strategies, we can improve our ability to recall information and overcome interference from other memories.