FYI Daily

Do You Have to Forget to Remember?

Last updated: Oct 19, 2011

finger and a string

While it sounds counterintuitive, a new study makes the case that forgetting is an important part of remembering.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, people who are good at forgetting irrelevant information might be better at remembering what's important.

Ben Storm, the study's author and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, cited numerous examples where forgetting is actually a good thing in everyday life, like forgetting your old phone number once you've switched to a new one, or forgetting where you parked your car yesterday to make room for the memory of where it's parked today.

"We need to be able to update our memory, so we can remember and think about the things that are currently relevant," Storm adds.