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Information can only be stored for a brief duration in STM (0-30 seconds), but LTM can last a lifetime. If we can’t remember something, it may be because we are unable to retrieve it.
When we are asked to retrieve something from memory, the differences between STM and LTM become very clear. For example, if a group of participants are given a list of words to remember, and then asked to recall the fourth word on the list, participants go through the list in the order they heard it in order to retrieve the information. This is why you can remember what you went upstairs for if you go back to the room where you first thought about it. You can organize information in sequences (such as alphabetically, by size or by time).
A large part of the research on memory is based on experiments conducted in laboratories.
Those who take part in the experiments - the participants - are asked to perform tasks such as recalling lists of words and numbers.Both the setting - the laboratory - and the tasks are a long way from everyday life.In many cases, the setting is artificial and the tasks fairly meaningless. Psychologists use the term ecological validity to refer to the extent to which the findings of research studies can be generalized to other settings.Most adults can store between 5 and 9 items in their short-term memory.Miller (1956) put this idea forward and he called it the magic number 7.Learning and memory refers to the processes of acquiring, retaining and retrieving information in the central nervous system.It consists of forming stable long-term memories that include declarative (recall of events and facts) and nondeclarative (conditioning, skill learning) forms.The way we store information affects the way we retrieve it.There has been a significant amount of research regarding the differences between Short Term Memory (STM ) and Long Term Memory (LTM).“Memory is the process of maintaining information over time.” (Matlin, 2005)“Memory is the means by which we draw on our past experiences in order to use this information in the present’ (Sternberg, 1999). Without a memory of the past, we cannot operate in the present or think about the future. For psychologists the term memory covers three important aspects of information processing: When information comes into our memory system (from sensory input), it needs to be changed into a form that the system can cope with, so that it can be stored.We would not be able to remember what we did yesterday, what we have done today or what we plan to do tomorrow. Memory is involved in processing vast amounts of information. Think of this as similar to changing your money into a different currency when you travel from one country to another.