Using the text, (Galotti, 2014), the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answer the following questions. Your response to each question should be at least 150 words in length. 1. What is primary memory? What are the characteristics of primary memory? 2. What is the process of memory from perception to retrieval? What happens when the process is compromised? Purchase the answer to view it Purchase the answer to view it
Primary memory, also known as working memory, is a vital component of human cognition and refers to the system responsible for temporarily holding information while it is being actively processed. In other words, it is the mental workspace where ongoing cognitive tasks take place. Primary memory is essential for various cognitive processes, including attention, perception, and problem-solving.
The characteristics of primary memory are crucial in understanding its functionality. First, primary memory has limited capacity, meaning it can only hold a limited amount of information at a time. According to George Miller’s famous study, the capacity of primary memory is typically around seven plus or minus two chunks of information. This concept implies that individuals can only focus on a small number of items simultaneously.
Second, primary memory has a short duration or decay. If information is not rehearsed or actively processed, it tends to be forgotten quickly. This duration can be extended through strategies like rehearsal or organization, enabling information to remain accessible for longer periods.
Third, primary memory is highly sensitive to interference. Interference occurs when the recall or recognition of information is disrupted by the presence of irrelevant or competing information. For example, when a person is trying to remember a phone number, the presence of other numbers or distractions can interfere with memory performance.
The process of memory encompasses several stages: perception, encoding, storage, and retrieval. Perception involves the initial acquisition of information through the senses, such as seeing an image or hearing a sound. This sensory information is then encoded into a suitable format for storage.
Encoding refers to the process of transforming sensory information into meaningful mental representations. Encoding can occur through various strategies, such as semantic encoding (relating information to personal experiences or meanings) or visual encoding (creating mental images).
Once encoded, information is stored in long-term memory, which has a potentially vast capacity and can store information for extended periods. Stored information can be retrieved and brought back to the primary memory for later use.
Compromises in the memory process can occur due to various factors. One common issue is forgetting, which can result from decay or interference. Decay occurs when memories are simply not rehearsed or used, leading to their gradual fading over time. Interference occurs when new or previously learned information interferes with the recall or recognition of stored memories.
Another issue that can compromise memory is retrieval failure. This occurs when stored information is temporarily inaccessible or cannot be retrieved due to certain retrieval cues not being present. For example, the “tip-of-the-tongue” phenomenon is an experience where a person knows that they know a particular piece of information but are unable to recall it at that moment.
Memory errors can also occur, such as false memories or the misattribution of information. False memories are memories that are not based on actual events or experiences but are fabricated, often due to suggestion or misinformation. The misattribution of information occurs when people attribute a memory to the wrong source, leading to inaccuracies in their recall.
In conclusion, primary memory plays a crucial role in human cognition by providing a temporary workspace for ongoing cognitive processes. Understanding the characteristics of primary memory, such as its limited capacity, short duration, and vulnerability to interference, helps us comprehend its functionality. The process of memory involves perception, encoding, storage, and retrieval, and any compromises in this process can lead to forgetting, retrieval failure, or memory errors.