Retention and Chunking

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INTRODUCTION

Memory is one of the important roles of the mind. However, it is often disregarded, unless needed. People typically do not think about memory except when they really need to retrieve or recall important details. People usually think about memory only when it fails them.

Memory refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information. It is a function that is basic and integral to all cognitive and psychological activities. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. In order to form new memories, information must be changed to usable form, which occurs through the process known as encoding. Once information has been successfully encoded, it must be stored in memory for later use. Much of this stored memory lies outside of our awareness most of the time, except when we actually need to use it. The retrieval process allows us to bring stored memories into conscious awareness. There are many ways of classifying the human mind and its ability to retain information. One of the most often used classifications are based on the duration of memory retention, specifically the sensory, long term memory and short term memory which is our focus in this report.

In Freudian psychology, the short term memory (STM) would be referred to as the conscious mind. Paying attention to sensory memories generates the information in STM. Most of the information stored in working memory will be stored for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. While many of our STMs are quickly forgotten, attending to this information allows it to continue on the next stage, long-term memory. However, there are different control processes that can be applied once the information is transferred into the short term memory. Two of these are rehearsal and chunking. Rehearsal is the mental repetition of information to retain longer in STM. This is the way to keep the information in STM refreshed...
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