Hello my Darlings for the continuation of How We Remember with the most important step of them all...
THIRD STEP: CONVERTING SHORT-TERM MEMORY INTO LONG-TERM MEMORY
If you haven't read Part 1 you can access it in the "RECENT POSTS" section on the right side of this page.
To understand the difference between the two, have you ever tried holding water in your hands? You can for a short distance...let's say from the faucet to your mouth or even across a room before it leaks through your fingers.
In the same way, when you learn something NEW ... a telephone number, someone's name, a script, a procedure or a vocabulary word it goes into the Short-Term Memory part of your brain...
which holds it for a very BRIEF period of time.
In 1971 Drs. Atikinson and Shiffrin's research found most people can remember up to 7 new items for up to 30 seconds. So just like your ability to hold water in your hands, most new information LEAKS from your memory and isn't converted into Long-Term Memory.
The way to hold water in your hands longer is to TRANSFORM it into a SOLID OBJECT, such as an ice cube. Now you can transport it across town and store it in a freezer to use when needed.
In the same way water is converted into ice, new information can be TRANSFORMED from its initial abstract concept (short-term memory) into something SOLID YOU CAN SEE and HOLD in your MIND'S EYE (long-term memory) so it can be transferred and stored into the Long-Term part of your brain....
for a very long time with unlimited amounts of information.
The typical way of converting Short-Term Memory into Long-Term Memory is with ROTE MEMORY.....the process of repeating over and over and over again the same information or action. It's also called MECHANICAL MEMORIZATION, reminiscent of a machine factory that repeats a movement again and again. It's based on the mechanism of repetition - the more it's repeated, the more likely it will become part of your long-term memory.
When I was a kid I used flash cards, as people still use today, and repeatedly reviewed them until I immediately knew the answer. Well, it worked, I'm not complaining but there's a quicker and easier way to convert Short-Term Memory into Long-Term Memory that we'll we'll delve into next week....you don't want to miss it.
There you go Darlings....Your MEMORY MOMENT.
Don't forget to check out the details of our next Memory Boot Camp to jump start that great memory within you. Cheers my Lovelies! Until next week.