Long Term Memory

Human Long Term Memory is not an untidy jumble of unrelated information. We keep our memory-store in order. We organise, categorise and classify information in a number of ways.

Tip of Tongue Phenomenon:

One way to study the Organisation of information in long term memory is to see what happens when we search through our library of experience to retrieve a memory. Suppose we are trying to retrieve a person’s name but can not quiet remember it, the name is on the “tip of tongue” but we just cannot recall it. When the subjects are in Tip of Tongue state, not able to hit the target word, they tend to retrieve words from their long term memory that:

1. Sounded like the target word.

2. Started with the same letter as the target word.

3. Contained the some number of syllables as the target word.

4. Has a meaning similar to that of target word.

Thus, Tip of Tongue Phenomena indicate that information is organised in Long Term Memory.

Semantic memory:

Semantic memory consist of meanings of words and concepts & the rules for using them in language. It is considered to be very stable. There is little forgetting of the meaning of words of our language and rules for their use.

Episodic memory:

Episodic memory consist of long terms memories of specific things that happened to us at particular times & place. It is less organised & seems more susceptible to be forgotten.

Role of organisation:

One strategy in remembering things well is to organise or arrange the input so that it fits into existing long term memory. Information is grouped in some logical manner or is arranged in some other way to make ‘sense’.

In our everyday learning and memory we must provide our own organisation to the jumble of incoming information. This is called Subjective Organisation.

Role of Imagery:

Images are partial and altered representation of what is in the world around us.

Paired associate technique:

The words for which visual images are easily formed are called Concrete (C).

Those that evoke very little visual imagery are called Abstract (A).

Concrete words ( e.g. bottle ) and abstract ( e.g. truth ) were paired in various ways as Paired Associate lists. Equal no. of all pairs (C-C, C-A, A-C, A-A) were included in the lists to be learned.

Result: Items that evoke imagery resulted in good recall.

Causes of Forgetfulness & tips to improve your memory will be discussed in the upcoming article.

For any suggestions & queries, please write in the comment box…

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