The 3 Main Stages

Ever wonder how your memory works?

Things that you experience have to go through 3 stages in order for it to be remembered for a long period of time. The first stage is the Sensory Stage, an automatic stage that has by far the quickest duration and a good amount of space for information but the information that we keep is changing rapidly. Then its Short Term memory, these are things that can be remembered if you use them somewhat frequently or forgotten if you dont use it. Finally your off to the Long Term memory. This is the memory that you can potentially remember forever.

Stage Model of Memory

Sensory Memory

Sensory memory is basically what is sounds like, the memory you create based on your 5 senses. It is rapid and can pull information from your long term memory in milliseconds if its a sense you have had before. For example if you walk into a candy store you immediately smell the sugar and know what your about to see or taste even if you were blindfolded walking in. If you hear a siren you expect to see a fire truck or ambulance. These are examples of sensory memory. If it is a new experience it will be transferred to the short term and possibly encoded into long term depending on the amount of times you sense it.
Big image

Short Term Memory

Short term memory is also known as working memory. This means that the more you work with the information processed in your short term memory the more likely you are to encode it and add it to your permanent memory. A good example of this is test taking. If you try to study 5 minutes before you take a test the amount of information being encoded is going to be much less than if you studied for the test a few days in advance. If the information isn't moved to long term memory then it will be lost because the capacity of short term memory isn't very long. That is why its important to keep training your mind on something if its important to you to keep for the future.
Big image

In Short Term Memory, If you don't use it, you lose it is correct!

Long Term Memory

If you transfer memory past your sensory stage, and past your short term stage then in makes it to your library or long term memory. Information and senses stored here can possibly be stored here for the rest of your life. Also there is no limit on how much information you can store in your long term memory. That is not to say that everything that gets past your short term memory you will remember forever but periodically getting the same senses through your sensory stage will only make retaining your long term memory much easier.
Big image

3 Things to Remember

-Your sensory memory may be very quick but also can handle multiple sense information at once.

-When sensory information is sent to the short term memory and it isn't repeated or used more than once that information is forgotten until it comes through again

-It is possible to remember information stored in your long term memory for the rest of your life and there is no limit to what you can remember but it is more likely to retain information longer by using it in your sensory and short term stages occasionally


Memory Types & Functions. (2011, July 10). Retrieved October 12, 2015.


Hockenbury, D., & Hockenbury, S. (2014). Discovering psychology (6th ed.).

New York: Worth.

Photos from Google Images