Psychologists have classified the stage of memory process into three main categories. The call them – sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.
Sensory memory is a very fleeting type of memory, which works only as long as the experience is present. For instant, if you were looking at a bird, you would remember it only as long as it is in front of you. The movement it files away, you would not be able to remember what is looked like unless you have filled the information away into your short-term memory. In effect, sensory memory holds as long as your senses are experiencing a thing. Whether is the feel of an object, smell or sensation of anything, it is all there in the sensory memory for a very brief period while your sense is active.
Short-term memory, on the other hand, can help you recall for a little longer; in fact, as long as you keep thinking about it. Whether it is the telephone number that you have been repeating constantly till you write it down, or the image of bird, it will remain available as long as you actively think about it. Otherwise, it will be erased within a span of about 20 seconds. To remember, the brain has to transfer it into the long-term bracket.
How does the long-term memory work? It is the mainstay of the memory system and can hold unlimited amount of information, which can range from a few minutes old to life-timer period. Long-term memory is like a huge hard disk of a giant computer where unlimited information can be stored for lifetime. It is this memory we have to hone, polish and active.
All this sounds pretty technical and complicated but just think of it in terms of storage tricks. Take the example of an ice-cream. You can’t keep the ice-cream in the fridge, it will remain in the semi-formed state and that is the short-term memory. Now, put the ice-cream in the freezer and it will harden to large extent. Even if you take it out and keep it outside, it will take some time to melt. This is the long-term memory. Quite simple, isn’t it?
The process by which we can make efforts towards transferring information into the long-term memory shelf of our brain, so that the information remains embedded in out brain and our memory improves.
Just getting information is not enough; it has to be retrieved on demand. Whether it is a student, homemaker, businessman or an executive, everyone needs to recall some kind of information.
If you are student, think how fantastic it would be if you could remember everything that is taught in the class and recall it all efficiently during the examination.
If you are homemaker, imagine the euphoria of remembering all details of household expenses, bills, the amount paid, shopping list, etc.
If you are businessman, just think of the benefit of knowing all the facts about your business on your fingertips.
And if you are a marketing executive, can you imagine the impression you can make on your boss if you were to reel out all the sales figures at a moment’s notice?
Why just the student, businessman, and the homemaker, memory is a very important aspect of life which affects every human being.
Back in 1885 The German scientist Herman Ebbingaus made the first experimental studies in the field of memory. What he discovered then holds true even today. He found that by using common method of memorising, we forget 40 percent within twenty minutes and 75 percent by the end of the week. Doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that if you are going to bother to learn things once, you might as well to a little extra trouble and memorise it forever? You can do this easily by repeating briefly what you face learned once a day for a week for a month.

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