What is Memory Retention?

By: Greg Frost

There are many ways of classifying the human mind and itsability to retain information. One of the most often used classifications arebased on the duration of memory retention, specifically the sensory, short termand long term memory. Short term memory refers to the recent memory, and isusually only held for a very short period of time. A common example would bewhen you meet many new people, cursorily introduced at a party. Long termmemory, on the other hand, can be thought of as a database where all theinformation that you have learnt is kept. Sensory memory is conveyed throughyour senses of sight and sound, where you keep these “images" in your mind.

Having sufficient sleep is a necessity to improving yourmemory. Studies have shown that the sensory memory is able to be more firmlyembedded in the long term memory when there is adequate sleep. Research hasalso shown that facts and other information are also able to be retained andrecalled with greater ease when paired with sleep. This has been attributed tothe fact that sleep strengthens the memories and causes them to be lessvulnerable to environmental interference.

Emotions

Emotions also play a big part in memory retention. Theemotional impact that an image, word or event has on the individual has a hugeimpact on it being stored in the long term memory. This is as the amygdale, theportion of the mind that is related to emotion, is an important factor inadapting memories according to importance, based on the intensity of theemotions. This is regardless of the nature of the emotion.

Memory Retention Tools

The human mind is a complex element of our cognitiveabilities, and memories can be either verbal or non-verbal. There are manytechniques for retaining information. These include organization of informationthrough meaning, where associations between new information is received andlinked with information already stored in the long term memory. Other forms ofsuch memory retention techniques include visual organization, by linkinginformation to visual images, and organizing through similarities, wheresimilar concepts or objects are grouped together based on certaincharacteristics.

Mnemonic devices are another often employed tool in memoryretention. The use of acronyms is common, especially in branding, where asequence of words is easily recalled based on the first letter of each word inthe list being used to form a single, new word. Acrostics are commonly used aswell, when the list of words is required to be learnt in a specific order. Rhymesor songs that are catchy are usedFeature Articles, putting new words into a familiar jingle inorder to better capture and retain information

Psychology
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