Our Working Memory and Long-Term Memory

The human mind is a miraculous thing and still remains a mystery to this day. It’s funny what you hold onto and what you forget during the memory process. When you’re growing up you don’t choose what to take with you and what you deem unimportant from your childhood. Psychologists have taken a closer look into the memory process, as too how and what makes it work. A humans memory process works a lot like computer storage.

The memory process has been categorized in a three steps. Your mind takes in a variety of things to remember and break down on a daily basis which is like the encoding of information a computer receives. Then, if your mind deems it important to remember the information it saves it for future use like a storage drive of a computer. Finally, You can retrieve the memory like files stored onto a computer storage. Your mind is constantly going back and forth from your working and long-term memory.

The working memory and long-term memory continuously retrieve and store information with each other. For example, there’s a show on Netflix that gives out brain teasers and tells you to focus on certain things. In one episode you are supposed to count the number of footballs as they go across the screen.

At, the end of the clip it shows that the number of footballs had repeatedly flashed across the screen but since your focus was on the moving footballs you missed the number. It was a great way to show how easily and how many things we miss because we aren’t focused on them. The Long-Term Memory is one of the most interesting aspects of the memory process. It has infinite capacity and information can be stored and retained possibly forever.

Our Long-Term memory stores the memory that we hold onto and can pull those memories up very often. We retrieve our memories using different retrieval cues. Recall and Recognition provide two different ways of getting memories to flood back into our working memory. When you recall information you need a specific piece of that memory for it to come back. Recognition is slightly easier all you have to do to retrieve the information is pick out what you recognize among similar stimuli.

An example of this would be if you were asked to draw what the cartoon character, Spongebob Squarepants using just your memory. This would require you to use recall to draw what you remember that cartoon character to look like. If someone asked you to choose which character was Spongebob Squarepants, amongst a common household sponge and a hair sponge you would be using your recognition to choose which one it was.

Memory is also a very finicky thing it’s constantly being constructed and reconstructed. Our memories are completely unreliable sources of information. We influence our memories of events with the emotions that we attach to them. Outside sources can also influence our memory. That fact alone is why eyewitness aren’t credible in the courtroom.

They memory of what happened can be tarnished with leading questions by a lawyer and that can create a new memory. Big marketers rely on how easy our memory can change and how we put connations to certain thing to market their own products. How one phrases things can change the entire situation or meaning of the information that you’re receiving.

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