Short Term Memory Concept Paper

Essay by cowboy_yeehaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Short Term Memory

Imagine this, you have a huge test today and you forgot to study. When you realize that you need to study you try cramming your brain with your notes and information so that you will remember them when the test comes. Well, as soon as the test hits the table you blank out. Many of us have been there and can relate this to this due to the small capacity of your short- term memory.

Short-term memory is memory for recent events that doesn't last long (about 15-30 seconds). This is the part of the memory that remembers what was said two minutes earlier, or whether someone has added sugar to a cup of tea. There are three main theories to why we forget: Dispalcement is where existing information is replaced by newly received information when the storage is filled (Waugh 72). Decay is the when the information decays or receeds over a period of time, and interfernce is where other information that is in storage at the same time distorts the original information.

Decay appears to be the primary reason of memory loss in short term memory (Baddeley 575).

Short-term memory has two important characteristics. First, short-term memory can contain at any one time seven "chunks" of information. Second, items remain in short-term memory around twenty seconds. These unique characteristics, among others, suggested to researchers that short-term memory was independent from sensory and long-term memory stores.

Short-term memory acts as a scratch-pad for temporary recall of the information under process. For instance, in order to understand this sentence you need to hold in your mind the beginning of the sentence, as you read the rest. In order to be able to remember things, you have to continue to give attention and rehearse the information, which is...