What is Memory?
Learning occupies a very significant place in one’s life and whatever is learned needs to be stored in mind so that it can be utilized whenever required in the future. In psychological terms, this faculty of the mind to store the past experiences or learning and to reproduce them for use when required at a later time is known as ‘memory’.
Types of Memory
Sensory or Immediate Memory: Sensory or immediate memory is the memory that helps an individual to recall something immediately after it is perceived. In this type of memory, the retention time is extremely brief – generally from a fraction of a second to several seconds.
Short – Term Memory: This type of memory is also temporary, though not nearly as short-lived as immediate memory. The information temporarily stored in short term memory may last as long as thirty seconds even if the material is not being rehearsed. Around five to nine items (“the magical number, seven plus or minus two”) can be held in short term memory at any one time, however, some people are able to retain much more information in their short term memories by a process called as chunking which groups information by coding.
Long – Term Memory: Long term memory has a seemingly limitless capacity to store information with little or no decay and requires little, if any, rehearsal. Long term memory codes information according to meaning, pattern and other characteristics. With the help of our long term memory we can easily store, retain and remember most of the things in our life and easily conduct our daily life.
Methods of Memorization:
- Recitation Method: In this method learner first reads the matter once or twice and then tries to recite and recall it without looking at the material. The recitation method thus provides continuous self-appraisal. The recitation method is more stimulating than the continued re-reading of the same material.
- Whole and Part Method: In this method, things can be memorized in two ways. One is to read the content again and again from the beginning till the end. This is called the Whole Method. In the other method, i.e., the Part Method, the content is divided into parts and each part is memorized separately.
- Spaced and Un-spaced Method: In the spaced or distributed method of memorization, the entire content is not memorized in one sitting. Each time after memorizing the material for some time, a period of rest is provided and this principal of ‘work and rest’ is followed throughout. In the un-spaced or massed method of memorization, the entire content is memorized without any interval or rest until it is mastered.
All these methods are found to be useful and effective in one situation or the other, but success in the use of a particular method depends more on the abilities of the individual and the nature and range of the material to memorize than on the method itself. Many external and internal in the environment and the individual himself also affect the process of memorization.