What is Memory and its Definitions, Nature & amazing types/models/theories?

Have you ever feel stressed because your were unable to recall name of the father of any subject? Why is that happened? Do you think, it caused by your weak memory? What is Memory? is it Remembering something? Mugging up numbers? Reciting Poem aloud? or something else. How to make strong memory, Is it confusing? Let me make you understand memory in simple psychological way.

Memory is the ability of brain to encode, store the information and retrieve the stored information when it is needed. All these processes need to be smooth otherwise there will we gap in information and you might feel the memory loss.


What is Memory?

Memory means an act of remembering some particular event. 

In psychological perspective, Memory is the faculty of mind to store the past experiences and then to reproduce them for use when required in later life.

Memory refers to the process that are used to acquire, store, retain And later retrieval and future use

Definitions Of Memory

According to Woodworth, ‘Memory involves learning, retention, recall & recognition.’

Ross said, Memory is a new experience determined by the disposition laid down by previous experiences, the relation between the two being clearly understood. 

Ryburn defined, ‘Memory is the power that we have to store our experiences and bring them into the field of our consciousness sometimes after the experiences have occurred.’

“The ideal revival, so far as ideal revival is merely reproductive in which the objects of past experience are reinstates as far as possible in the order and manner of their original occurrence , is known as memory”. Stout

Nature of Memory

A) Memory is a Physical activity– The Memory traced are the basis of memory in the form of tendencies.

B) Memory as Psycho-Physical activity- Barkett, Piron & Libson Advocate that memory depends more on mental states like interest, motivation, attitude etc. than on repetition of experience.  

C) Memory as Process – 1st we learn something then we store (i.e. retention) it then recall and recognition.

D) Memory as Product – Encoding, Store & Retrieve.

What are the Processes of Memory?

There are various types, models and theories of memory but all these will be having three basic processes of memories- ENCODING, STORAGE & RETRIVAL.

First process of memory is ENCODING. So whatever information/ sensation we sense will be convert in the form, that brain can understand and use. For example, if you here a song ( Despacito ), your ears will turn the vibrations in the air into neural massage from the auditory nerve and brain will interpret the song.

Second process of memory is STORAGE. Here, the brain parts hold the information for some time. The information holding time can vary form few seconds (sensory Memory ) to life time.

Third process of memory is RETRIVAL. When we Recall the name/ facts, Recite the poem, Remember the emotional event, Recognize the familiar face or any information that is the retrieval process/step of memory.

Where the Brain stores the memory?

The Memory stores in different parts of the brain. As the information got from various senses will serve different purpose for the brain.

For illustration,

  1. 1. General information, facts & events will be stored in Hippocampus, Neocortex & Amygdala (emotional memories).(Henry Molaison,1953)

2. Motor memories like How to run/drive/swim, will be stored in Basal ganglia & Cerebellum.

3. Sensory Information & short term information will be stored in Prefrontal Cortex.


What are the Types/Models/Theories Of Memory?

There are different models given by different Psychologists/ researchers.

  1. Atkinson and Shiffrin The Multi-Store Model/Theory –
    1. Sensory Memory- store information for 1-4 seconds
    2. Short-term memory (STM) – store information for 15- 30 seconds
    3. Long-term memory (LTM)– store information for few years to life time.
  2. Tulving’s Long Term Memory Model/Theory (1972)-
    1. Episodic memory– storing biographical information about events/episodes .
    2. Semantic memory- storing information about the meaning of words, general knowledge, etc
    3. Procedural memory- storing information about motor skills.
  3. Baddeley and Hitch, Working Memory Model/Theory (1974)-
    1. Central executive– filter information to attend.
    2. Phonological loop – temporary holding auditory information.
    3. Visuospatial sketchpad – temporary holding visual and spatial information
    4. Episodic buffer– temporary holding information to communicates with both long term memory and the components of working memory.
  4. Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve Model/Theory
  5. Eyewitness Testimony Model/Theory
  6. Mnemonics – Memory improvement techniques. By using it you can make your memory strong.

Factors Influencing Memory

  • Health
  • Attention
  • Impression 
  • Repetition
  • Association
  • Intelligence
  • Attitude of learner
  • Nature of learning material
  • Method of learning
  • Speed of learning

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