Short-Term & Long Term Memory

Once a memory is created, short-term memory is used to hold a limited amount of information, and the information is temporarily available. Short-term memory can be converted to long-term memory with time, and time allows the memory to become resistant to interferences from competing stimuli or injury. The more one repeats or uses information, the more likely the information will end up being long-term memory, and long-term memory is used to store large amounts of information permanently. Short-term memory stores little amounts of information temporarily while long term memory stores information permanently (Van Blerkom, 2009).

In order to improve my study habits, I would need to move new information from intermediate memory and then to the working memory. I would then actively work on the working memory in order to transfer into long term memory. Since short term memory is temporary and it is difficult to retrieve information when needed, it is important to store information in long term memory. This can be done through active study strategies like asking and answering questions about what I have read, practicing the skills I have learnt, or even duplicating the information through making short notes. I would also break information and tasks down to shorter information that is easy to understand and remember. In addition, I would read the same information more often while making notes so as to transfer the information into the long term memory. Information stored in the long term memory is comprehensive and easily retrievable (Van Blerkom, 2009).

Attention is an important factor in memory as it helps in encoding and recalling information. This means that when one pays attention, it is easy to encode the information to be stored in memory, and it would be easy to retrieve the information when needed. When I am distracted while studying, I cannot understand concepts, which makes it hard for me to remember what I read. The greatest distractions to my studying are noise and movements. It is also difficult to study when I study for many hours. These distractions are both internal and external. In order to increase attention, I need to avoid studying in noisy areas and avoid studying for many hours. In order to increase motivation to maintain attention, I need to take frequent breaks while studying. I would also reduce interference so that I pay more attention to studying (Muzzio, Kentros, & Kandel, 2009).

Forgetting occurs when memory is no longer available or when the memory is available, but there are difficulties in retrieving it. Forgetting can also happen if there were difficulties in encoding and storing information. In order to decrease the likelihood of forgetting, it is important to pay attention while studying so that information is properly encoded and stored in short term and long term memory. Reducing interference and distractions during studying could also help in encoding and storing information in the long-term memory to be easy to retrieve. One could also decrease the likelihood of forgetting by creating pictures or visuals of information so as to create relationships and enhance understanding (Carey, 2010).

Based on what I have learnt, I can modify my own study habits in ways that would enhance my long term memory. I would definitely use active study strategies like creating pictures or illustrations, asking and answering questions, or even demonstrate skills through actions. I would also minimize interferences and distractions during studying. I would also review my notes more often to reduce the likelihood of forgetting.

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