Memory is the state of being capable to recall learnt material and past events.If we learn nothing from our past experiences, it will be as if we never lived in the past.Memory is very crucial to human in that, it is central to human existence .To communicate we must be capable of remembering what has been said to us and our thought.
Stages of Memory
There are three stages of memory which are :
- Encoding- Put into memory
- Storage- Maintain in memory
- Retrieval- Recover from memory
Each of these stages of memory works for one another.For instance,when you meet an individual for the first time and she introduces herself as Lamide ,if you meet her the next day and you could tell her what her name is and how the both of you met I.e,you have remembered her name because you kept the name in your memory .This is encoding stage .secondly, you stored the name during the time you both met .This is storage stage.Lastly ,you recovered the name from storage at the time of your second meeting. This is retrieval stage.
If you cannot encode,you won’t be able to store and if you’re unable to store ,you will find it difficult to retrieve.
Types of Memory
There are two types of memory, the short-term and the long term memory .
When a situation require us to store material for a matter of seconds, we call it short-term memory. But when a situation requires us to store up memory for a long time it is long term memory. This takes minutes, hours, months or years for retrieval to take place after encoding. When we recall a name immediately after encountering it, retrieval seems effortless as the name is still active in our consciousness. However, recalling it after many hours is more difficult as it is no longer in our consciousness.
Storage Capacity of Short Term Memory
The short-term memory has a limited capacity of about 7±2 items or chunks at a time depending on the memory capacity of the individual.
The commonest capacity is 7. When new items are introduced, the earlier ones are displaced with the exception of words or thoughts that are rehearsed over and over again. Many experiments have shown that rehearsing an information protect it from being displaced. The more we rehearse the less we encode, the less we encode, the less the opportunity for displacement. Short term forgetting can also occur due to information decay,as information fades with time.
Storage Retrieval of Long Term Memory
Many cases of forgetting from long term memory seem to be loss of access to the information and not loss of the information itself. Poor memory here reflect a Retrieval’s failure rather than storage failure. For instance, in an examination hall ,one might not be able to retrieve an answer and then remembers it after the examination. The item had been there but he was unable to retrieve it .The more retrieval hints we have ,the better the memory. Retrieval failure is not only the cause of forgetting, some information maybe lost due to decay with time or displacement by other information.