|2.1.||Encoding of Information||6|
|2.2.||Role of Short-Term Memory in Thinking||6|
|2.4.||Exchange of Information Within Short-Term Memory||8|
|2.5.||Rehearsing and Thinking: Role of Subvocal Speech||8|
There is a strong tendency, especially in an age of computers, to think of human memory as something quantitative – as a more or less efficient machine for storing, structuring, and retrieving bits of information. When a person asks, “What is the ways to improve my memory?” he is often thinking in terms of “upgrading the machine”, enlarging its memory capacity. The much-heard question, “Is it a wasted effort to cram for an exam?” has shown that our brains are much more complex – and interesting – than even the most advanced computers. True, our memory sometimes less reliable than that found on silicon chips. But we are much better than computers at quickly recognizing and remembering relations among facts, and we can often reach correct decisions even when the information we receive is vague and incomplete.
Psychologists have learned that human memory does not consist of a filing cabinet into which we place individual items; instead, it consists of multiple stages, each containing different types of information. Studies of people with brain damage indicate different parts of the brain which are somewhat specialized; they participate in learning about different aspects of an experience, but share their information and permit us to compare these aspects. If the information in our memory is fragmentary, we can often reconstruct what probably happened, based on our knowledge of the world. Is this reconstruction always accurate? Studies of eyewitness reports show different people, witnessing the same events, can sincerely report different versions.
Clearly, human memory is an ever-changing system whose study remains an intriguing challenge for psychological research. As we all know, the mere ability to perceive new information is no guarantee that we will be able to remember it later. Thus, it is clear that the learning process is selective; only some experience become a part of memory. …
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