Are you interested in Herman Ebbinghaus’s research on memory? This article is for you! Here you can read more about the experiments which the German psychologists described in his book. You will also learn which of the theories about him are nothing more than myths.
The answer to the question of how spaced repetition was created should be started with a reference to antiquity. Thinking about memory was conducted by Greek philosophers. Plato (427-347 BCE) devoted a work to it, as did his student and critic Aristotle (388-322 BCE). The latter of these collected his considerations, among others, in the treatise “On memory and recollection”. The Latin phrase repetitio mater studiorum est (repetition is the mother of learning) demonstrates that even the ancient Romans were aware that repetition influenced memory, although they obviously weren’t able to express this numerically.
Today’s well-established term spaced repetition still hasn’t acquired a stable synonym. It’s sometimes described as “repetitions with intervals”, the “interval effect”, “optimised repetitions” or other more colourful terms.
Let’s start from the basics. We all know that with the passing of time everything is eventually forgotten. Names, dates, facts, images or ideas that we once remembered with ease, become harder and harder to recall. The important sounding term forgetting curve refers to a graph which shows how the ability to recall things from memory decreases over time.
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