To Forget is Human, to Remember Takes Practice

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The mystery of how memory works is explained in a new book co-authored by Associate Professor of Psychology Megan Sumeraki.

In a new book called “The Psychology of Memory (2024), cognitive psychologists and memory experts Megan Sumeracki and Althea Need Kaminske provide a unique insight into a fundamental part of being human – forgetting.

Sumeracki is associate professor of psychology at Rhode Island College and Althea Need Kaminske is senior director of Student Academic Support and Achievement at Indiana University School of Medicine.

In their book, the authors debunk many common misconceptions about what memory is, how memory works and the accuracy of our memories. They explain how we create, store, and retrieve memories, and they outline simple techniques to boost our powers of recall.


If you’re like most human beings who are always forgetting where they left their phone or their keys, don’t worry. A degree of forgetting is natural, say the authors. It allows the brain to remember more general information. Besides, our memories aren’t designed to remember where we put our phones or our keys. Memory is often survival-based, say the authors. For instance, if you were driving to a remote location in the deepest, darkest neck of the woods, you’d be much more aware of where you leave your phone and your keys.


Sumeracki and Kaminske offer strategies to strengthen your memory, such as a technique called “retrieval practice.” If you’re learning a new colleague’s name, deliberately address them by it every time you see them. Other techniques are also offered. Ultimately, regular practice using memory techniques is what improves memory, say the authors.

Preview “The Psychology of Memory,” published by Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.