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The Human Memory Essay

1408 words - 6 pages

The Human Memory

Many people don't know it but the memory of a human is more complex
than thought to be. The memory can be divided into three stores which
are Sensory, Short term and Long term. There are also two processes
which are Attention and Rehearsal. I will be looking at these sections
closely to help explain the human memory. I will also be looking at
past experiments which will help me support my theory.

The Sensory stores are made up of three parts- Visual sensory memory,
Acoustic sensory memory, touch, smell and motor information. If the
information is not attended to then it can decay. The sensory
information is the environmental input which is kept for two seconds
in the sensory store.

One of the other stores is the short term memory store which is used
to hold information which is passed in by the sensory stores and that
is where the information can be held for seven seconds with out
rehearsal or repetition. The short term memory has very limited
capacity and duration and also rehearses information acoustically
(acoustic encoding). If this did not take place then we could not
place the information into the long term memory after the rehearsal of
the word or the digit. With all this there is a bad point to the short
term memory which is that the information can be lost through
interference, displacement and distraction. All this information is
only forgotten in the short term memory store.

The other store is the long term memory which can hold sufficient
rehearsed information. The information is considered and stored in a
meaningful way organised in terms of its meaning. Like the short term
memory the long term memory also can lose information. The short term
can be lost through trace decay, interference and displacement. This
can only be lost in the long term memory.

These three stores are like in a cycle because if the sensory store
was not there then the information from the environment input would
not be transferred into the short term memory. If the short term
memory was not there then the digit or the word which doesn't get
rehearsed does not get put into the long term memory so we will not be
able to remember the past or important dates like birthdays or

There are few studies which help support my theory and help prove the
psychological theory of the human memory. I will be looking at the
differences of the short term and the long term in the encoding,
capacity and duration. The capacity of the short term memory was
tested by the man named Jacob's in 1887. His aim was to investigate
how much information can be held in the short term memory. So to test
this he devised a technique called the serial digit span. To test
this, a laboratory experiment using the digit span was conducted. The
participants were asked to remember numbers...

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