Memory is the capability to learn, retain, store and remember information from previous experiences. Memories are accumulated from prior experiences and recollected, which can influence change of behavior or thought. This ability can assist with learning and adapting to new experiences. Memory is essential to our lives. Without a memory of the past we cannot operate in the present or think about the future. We would not be able to remember what we did yesterday, what we have done today or what we plan to do tomorrow. Without memory we could not learn anything.
Short-term memory is information a person is thinking of at that specific time, it is also known as working memory (Morris & Maisto, 2014, pg.188-189). Short-term memory is the ability to remember and process information at the same time. Short-term memory acts as a kind of “scratch-pad” for temporary recall of the information which is being processed at any point in time, and has been referred to as “the brain’s Post-it note”. When trying to recall a telephone number or a small number of items needed at the grocery store, this information is held for “fifteen to twenty-five seconds and is known as short-term memory” (Morris & Maisto, 2014, pg. 194-195). The problem with short term memory is that only minimal amounts of information are remembered and for small periods of time.
Long-term memory is anything you remember that happened more than a few minutes ago. Long-term memories can last for just a few days, or for many years (Morris & Maisto, 2014, pg.191). Long-term memories aren’t all of equal strength. Stronger memories enable you to recall an event, procedure, or fact on demand; for example, that Paris is the capital of France. Weaker memories often come to mind only through prompting or reminding. Long-term memory isn’t static, either. You do not imprint a memory and leave it as if untouched. Instead, you often revise the memory over time; perhaps by merging it with another memory or incorporating what others tell you about the memory. As a result, your memories are not strictly constant, and are not always reliable.