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Critical Thinking: Memory

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Even though most people would find short-term memory to be extremely frustrating, there are actually advantages to it. For example, if one person accidentally saw a huge spoiler to a movie he/she really wanted to see, he/she would probably want to forget about it so that it doesn't ruin the movie experience. That has actually happened to me a couple times, and I was super glad that I could forget what I read and what other people told me. It allowed me to actually be surprised while watching the movie.

Short-term memory means that the mind is actively thinking. This allows us to create scenery in our minds when we read a book. Working alongside the working memory, the bits of reading in the book is played out in your head just like a movie. Without short-term memory, we would not be able to do this. This is because long-term memory requires a much longer process to actually remember something, whereas short-term just memorizes exactly what it sees. Because of this, we are able to refer back to what we read right away to create the images and voices of the passage.

Since short-term memory occurs through selective attention, we can be able to pick out certain, important things to pay attention to. This would include hearing your name even through a loud crowd or a mother hearing her baby cry in the middle of the night but not any other loud noises. There are obviously a couple of advantages to short-term memory despite what most people believe.



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