The Effect of the Amount of Subject Matter on Retention

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive psychology, Time Pages: 2 (734 words) Published: January 7, 2011
Memory is one of the important functions of the human mind. But usually, it is often overlooked, unless needed. We usually do not think about memory unless we really need to retrieve or recall important details. Often times, people think about memory only when it fails them.

Memory is the process by which an organism is able to encode, retrieve and store information. It is a function that is basic and integral to all cognitive and psychological activities (A. Bernardo et al., 2007). There are three main stages in the formation and retrieval of memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. Encoding refers to the transformation of an experience or information that takes form in several ways such as auditory, visual, or a semantic stimulus. The second important process of memory, storage, is the retention of coded information into the memory system, wherein the information is stored for a long period of time. Lastly, the third process, retrieval, is the process involved in finding the information in the storage, bringing it back to the conscious and making use of the retrieved information.

Retention is the persistence to perform a learned behavior (facts or experiences) after an interval has elapsed in which there has been no performance or practice of the behavior. Participants can briefly recall short lists, but as the lists increases in length, participants will need more time to recall the lists. The number that can be recalled before errors begin to occur is called the memory span, and it has been interpreted as the limit on the storage space available in short-term memory or STM (Klatzky, 1975). Its capacity to hold is about seven items or chunks of information. As more items enter STM, the strength of previous information fades away. In cognitive psychology and mnemonics, chunking refers to a strategy for making more efficient use of STM by recording information. Miller (1999) summarized evidence that people can remember about seven chunks in short-term memory...
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