Memory – Do you find it difficult to remember things?

What is memory

For how many times a day you depend on your remembrance? Human memory psychology is complex.

From remembering things for your exam, operating a computer, remembering the password of your ATM card, or cooking a traditional authentic dish for a gathering. All of these require you to focus on your memory.

Surely no one can answer these questions. For countless times we use our memory in a day. But what exactly is Memory? How do they form? And why we feel difficult to remember things? In this article, we are going to discuss all these questions in details.

What is memory?

Human memory psychology is the topic of interest in cognitive psychology. From thousands of years, philosophers and scientists are trying to understand this branch of psychology. According to the memory definition psychology:

It is the way to recall our past experiences and use that information in the present to make better decisions.

Or in other words, memory definition psychology is the procedure to maintain the information over time.

Why are memories important?

They design way of our lives. These are an essential part of everyone’s life that stores our past activities and help us to perform these activities again and again without any difficulty. Without having recollections, no one can remember what they did in the past, doing in present, or decided to perform anything in the future.

This collection of past happenings and incidences help us to live better our present and supports us to plan a better future in light of past experiences. It can also be referred to memory definition psychology. Our brain processes a vast amount of various kinds of information in the form of sounds, images, thoughts, and meanings.

How to use memory?

It stores every kind of information it receives from sensory organs. For using this information it is necessary to encode the information into brain. The memory retrieving process is not always perfect. Sometimes our information suffers from perplexing memory retrieving problems that are also called tip-of-the-tongue-phenomenon or lethologica.

Stages of memory:

The types of memory in psychology covers three aspects of information processing:

1. Encoding:

In this stage, information coming from sensory nerves transforms into the form that can be easily managed by system for storage. Encoding of information can be done in three ways.These include: Acoustic (sound), Semantic (meaning), and Visual (picture).

2. Storage:

It deals with the nature of memory and how it will be stored. STM (short term memory) and LTM (long term memory) types decide where the coming information will be stored, duration of the memory, type of information, and capacity of that information. STM store for 0-30sec while the LTM could be for a lifetime.

3. Retrieval:

This stage is about retrieving the stored information from the brain.

Types of memory in psychology:

There are three basic types of memory in psychology:

  • Sensory
  • Short-term
  • Long-term

Sensory Memory:

After the original stimulus has been ceased, it retains the impression of sensory information for a brief time. It is an automatic response that is not in cognitive control. It has raw data with the shortest retention time in a range from millisecond to five seconds.

The sensory type quickly transfers information to working memory. Because of the low capacity of working memory, the amount of information is greatly reduced as it cannot cope with the whole information coming from sense organs.

Types of sensory form of remembrance: According to the five major senses, it is divided into the following sub-types:

  • Iconic type deals with the information coming from the visual system.
  • Echoic type is created by the auditory system.
  • Haptic is created by the sense of touch.

Short-Term & Working Memory:

For recalling events that happened recently, short term storage part of the brain keeps the information for a brief period. Short-term human memory psychology includes working memory. It is one of the types of memory in psychology that can store information temporarily. The duration of stored information depends upon the conscious effort of an individual.

Without any effort or active maintenance, it is believed that the duration of short term memory remains for seconds. Working memory is a sub-part of STM that performs cognitive tasks of storing, organizing, and manipulating information temporarily.

Long-Term Memory:

A system of the human brain that stores, manage, or retrieve information is called long-term memory. It is a type of memory in psychology that has information of every kind such as language, experiences, methods, facts, etc. Even this is subdivided into two types:

  • Explicit also termed as conscious
  • Implicit also called unconscious

Explicit Memory:

Explicit type depends upon the conscious or intentional remembering of the information. It includes information that requires your willing efforts to remember.

For example, remembering a formula, a phone number, or an address.

This Explicit form of recollection of thoughts further controls the Declarative memory that is based upon facts and events. Because of the involvement of intentional and conscious remembering, it is included in explicit memory. It can be split into Procedural, Semantic, and Episodic memories.

Procedural type is all about remembering a procedure or method of performing anything such as:

  • How to drive a car?
  • How to operate a laptop?
  • And, how to cook Chinese rice?

Semantic form deals with recall of general facts and figures like:

Punjab is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of population. (Information we get from books or encyclopedia)

What happens when you visit a Zoo? You get the ticket, see the animals available there, take pictures, have fun, and come back. It is a kind of script that you remember.

Episodic memory deals with the recall of personal experiences. It also carries the sensations, emotions, and association with a particular event.

  • How did you celebrate your birthday when you were a child?
  • What happened during the Second World War? (these are like flashbulb memory)

Implicit Type of Information Storage:

This is about an effortless and unconscious remembering of events and things. It designs the patterns of our thoughts and behaviors with the help of information enter in our minds unconsciously. This memory involves procedures for completing actions.

Like an athlete learns the basics of spots, practice these fundamentals again and again and finally, all these things naturally appear in his game during a match.

Why we forget?

After discussing all the types of human memory psychology, now the million-dollar question here is:

Why we forget things? Or why it is difficult to remember things?

Typically it is a failure in memory retrieval. The information remains in your long-term storage of data, but you cannot retrieve or remember it in actual. Information present in long-term part of recollection is stable but time plays a key role in forgetting things. Four main factors play their part in forgetting things. These include:

Sometimes our brain just loses the information. Most of the time the information never gets stored correctly in its place. Additionally, people can also actively try to forget information. In a few cases, the information available in mind competes with another incident or existing information.

Do you find it difficult to remember things?

There are various reasons that make it difficult to remember things:

  • Most of the time people are not attentive towards information
  • Sometimes the focus of the brain diverts from the information towards some other things
  • It also happens that people think about some other issues during the transfer of information
  • Being tired, sick, or stressed out also be the causes of forgetting things
  • Our lifestyle also plays an important role in affecting our recollection power. Improper diet, smoking, and no exercise increase this issue
  • The aging process also makes remembering things difficult

Is there any solution to this Human Memory Psychology problem?

By organizing or reorganizing your life you can get rid of this forgetting problem. The things you can do to improve it on day to day basis are:

  • Write down the information you need to remember
  • Organize a schedule calendar to manage your activities and look at it before going to bed. It will keep events fresh in your mind
  • Organize yourself and try to do everything in a particular manner that helps you to set a routine and you will forget less.
  • Repeat the information you need to remember again and again. It will also help you to remember it
  • Challenge your brain by playing brain games, puzzles, and word games. These activities will boost brain activities and refresh your group of thoughts from the brain.

Conclusion

Our brain is an amazing machine designed by nature. It is the most astonishing creation that is responsible for all the man-made wonders. Memories help the brain to perform its activities in an organized way. Forgetting things, finding difficult to remember events and things are the conditions that express the mental disturbance. Human memory psychology has an important role in all of this.

Additionally, we have covered the types of memory in psychology to help you in developing a better understanding about its functioning.

It is important to give your brain some time to relax. Meditation and progressive brain activities boost up the working abilities of the brain and help you to memorize things even better.

What is your opinion about it? Please let us know about your suggestions and do comment regarding memory, forgetting things, and what ways you use to boost your memory.

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