Retrieval Induced Forgetting (RIF)

Retrieval induced forgetting (RIF) occurs when recalling memories causes other related information to be forgotten. Everyone has experienced not being able to recall something even though it is 'on the tip of their tongue'.

RIF occurs when an individual is trying to retrieve a specific memory. Closely related words and memories 'compete' with the memory you are trying to remember causing a temporary forgetfulness. This phenomenon occurs naturally frequently but can also be induced in laboratory settings.

An example would be you are trying to recommend a restaurant to a friend that you ate at previously. You can recall the location, what type of food they serve, the color of the building, and even the first letter of the name. But you can't recall the actual name of the restaurant. An hour later when you are not trying hard to recall the name of the restaurant you find that it comes naturally and easily to you.

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