Forgetting occurs when people fail to recover information that has been experienced previously. Most view forgetting as a nuisance, but the process is quite adaptive. This chapter provides a general tutorial on the psychology of forgetting. We focus on its empirical characteristics and proposed theoretical underpinnings, as revealed through studies with healthy human participants. We begin with a discussion of forgetting’s adaptive value, followed by an examination of its functional and mathematical characteristics. Next, we discuss possible causal mechanisms in some detail: Why do we forget? Finally, we reconsider the meaning of forgetting and its proper role in memory theory.