The main difference between short-term memory and long-term memory is the capacity that each one has. According to Michael E. Martinez, the two memories work together forming the cognitive architecture or the mind’s basic structure. In the short-term memory, a person can only think of a few ideas at a time. One of the characteristics of the short-term memory is that has a small capacity for storing information compared to the long-term memory which has a larger capacity. Information flows between the short-term memory to the long-term memory, depending on the direction and different kinds of thinking results. Therefore, short-term and long-term memory are interconnected and provide a structure that makes up part of the mind.
Short-term memory (STM) is the route entry to long-term memory or the holding template. Also known as primary or active memory, it is the information we are currently aware of or thinking about. Memories are storied in ...view middle of the document...
While many of our short-term memories are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue on the next stage - long-term memory.
As the continuing storage of information, long-term memory is often called the preconscious and unconscious in Freudian psychology. This information is largely outside of our awareness, but can be called into working memory to be used when needed. Some of this information is fairly easy to recall, while other memories are much more difficult to access. While long-term memory is also susceptible to the forgetting process, long-term memories can last for a matter of days to as long as many decades. Long-term memory is usually divided into two types - declarative (explicit) memory and procedural (implicit) memory. Declarative includes all of the memories that are available in consciousness. Declarative memory can be further divided into episodic memory (specific events) and semantic memory (knowledge about the world). Procedural memory involves memories of body movement and how to use objects in the environment. How to ride a bicycle or use a computer are examples of procedural memories.
Similarities between these types of memories are that they require sets of words to be non-phonologically similar for the memory to be retained longer. Set of words that are phonologically similar like mat or map is less likely to be recalled immediately than non-phonologically similar ones like lay or gray. Also similarity of meaning like big, humungous increases both the short term and long term memory in retaining the information.
In the end, both short-term and long-term memory has its similarities and differences as well as advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes there is no need to maintain everything in our brain, so different stages of the memory filter out these things and helps protect from the flood of information confronted on a daily basis. Once the commitment for trying to memorize something is attempted, short-term memory will begin to flicker and by repeating the number to yourself, you can keep resetting the short-term memory clock. Unlike sensory and short-term memory, which are limited and decay rapidly, long-term memory can store unlimited amounts of information indefinitely.