Being forgetful is often associated with a trait of being less intelligent, at least this is what our films and TV shows have taught us.
However, this is certainly not the reality. According to a study conducted by the University of Toronto, owning a strong memory is absolutely an overrated asset. This study concludes that being forgetful in reality a sign of high intelligence.
One of the researchers of the publications, Professor Blake Richland said,” It’s important that the brain forgets irrelevant details and instead focuses on the stuff that’s going to help make decisions in the real world. We know that exercise increases the number of neurons in the hippocampus, but they’re exactly those details from your life that don’t actually matter, and that may be keeping you from making good decisions.”
Paul Frankland and Prof. Richard claimed that memory utilizes itself to optimize the decision-making process by letting the unimportant information go and retaining valuable information. In other words, memory clears unnecessary information in order to make room for the necessary one.
This proves that forgetfulness is actually a boon than a hindrance.
For instance, sometimes our brain forgets minute details of a past event yet it remembers the bigger picture. Researchers believe that this quality is a lot better as it allows us to generalize our past experience better as compared to someone who remembers every little detail of an event in the past.
The study points out to the fact that forgetting little details every now and then is actually a sign of healthy memory system.
Prof. Richards explains, “One of the things that distinguishes an environment where you’re going to want to remember stuff versus an environment where you want to forget stuff is this question of how consistent the environment is and how likely things are to come back into your life.”
An example of this could be a supermarket worker who encounters various different individuals per day. On the other hand, a person who works at a local café would begin to remember the locals.
The best thing to remember things is to memorize absolutely everything. Prof. Richards notes, “If you’re trying to make a decision, it will be impossible to do so if your brain is constantly being bombarded with useless information.”