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Memory Case

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Individual Project Four

Angelo Sposeto

American InterContinental University


How does the human memory work? This paper will discuss how it works, the different stages of the model per the instructions for this assignment.

Individual Project Four

In 1968 Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin introduced the concept that the memory is a sequence of three different stages. The illustration below shows the breakdown of their concept.

The first stage of the memory is the sensory memory. Usually lasting short of one second, it is the ability to retain impressions of information. This information is usually caused by the five senses, smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing. When you use one of your senses to recognize something for a brief moment, the brain can either ignore this, in which case a person won't remember it at all or the instance can be perceived. When it is perceived that is called sensory memory (, n.d.).

Short term memory on the other hand is information that we remember long enough to be used. Things like names and phone numbers that we need to use. Perhaps we look at a phone number and then dial that number from memory. This information will usually last about thirty seconds unless we use that information in that short span of time (Atkinson-Shiffrin Model, n.d.).

Long term memory pretty much defines itself. It is information that is stored and remembered over a long period of time, perhaps your whole lifetime. To me it is amazing the things that I remember; sometimes I don't even remember how I got the information in the first place. Playing trivia games is where this is evident to me. Questions will be ask that I know the answer for but don't know why I know it. This could be things that we learned in school, or saw on television, even heard on the radio, and even smells that we have encountered over time and know exactly what it is from.

Short term memories can actually turn into long-term memory. The first time you got wind of a skunk, you perceived it and it went from sensory memory to short term memory and finally to the point to where you know that smell all the time. This process is called consolidation. Atkinson and Shiffrin proposed that perhaps we never actually forget anything, it's just that in time the information becomes harder and harder to retrieve (The Human Memory, n.d.).

Long term memory can be broken down even further to include declarative/explicit memory and procedural/implicit memory. Declarative memory is defined as "knowing what", or things such as facts



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