Short-term memory or working memory is a volatile memory that just lasts for a few seconds; up to 30 seconds and only grasps a few items 5 to 9. Short-term memory happens when one pays attention to sensory information such as visual, haptic or audio and records the information briefly in the mind. In case this information is nor pushed to long-term memory, it evaporates and it is forgotten. Short-term memory information is accessible for processing (APA, 2011). A good example of short-term memory can be described by being provided someone’s phone number verbally or through a phone call. One can hold the number for only a few seconds as one rehearse it to keep it in the memory until one gets to write it down. It is considerably hard to recall the number accurately a few minutes. One can only reuse that number by checking on the written paper. The number is only temporarily saved in the memory and evaporates after it is written down.
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Long-term memory refers to memory held for a long period of time, longer than seconds or even for a lifetime. Long-term memory contains a huge storage capacity. Long-term memory is created by enhancing the complete processing of information in short-term memory. This can be done by rehearsing and practicing more often (APA, 2011). A good example of pushing information in long-term memory is redoing something repetitively at a certain time in life, for instance, singing nursery rhythms. The majority of individuals can still recall their nursery rhythms even at old age since they were constantly repeated and pushed to the long-term memory.
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Sensory memory is brief sensory information storage. It acts as a memory buffer which only lasts very briefly unless more attention is given to this information to be able to pass it for into short-term memory for more processing, the information is lost. The sensory memory purpose is to offer brain extra time for incoming sensations processing and to permit humans to perceive the world as a continuous stream of events instead of discrete pieces (APA, 2011).) A good example of sensory memory is an animal crossing fast in front of an individual during the day without much time given to gather details or a sound that passes unexpectedly.
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