Short term memory is limited to the information that it holds for a short number of seconds only .5 to 2 seconds in length (Kowalski &Westen, 2011). It has a limited capacity and only holds a small amount of information at one time compared to long term memory that stores all the vast amount of detailed information that we learn over a lifetime. This form of information storage seems to have no limit to its time span. The two forms of memory work together to allow us to store and process information. Short term memory is sometimes referred to as ‘working memory’, but working memory is not completely distinct from short-term memory. It is a term that was used by Miller et al. (1960) to refer to memory as it is used to plan and carry out behavior. Long term memory relocation involves access of information from long term memory into short term memory. The more we recall the information in short term memory the more these memories become prevalent and those memories are then committed to our long term memory. It is in our unconscious where information is stored and easily retrieved, it can be recalled and placed into our short term memory for instant use. It is important, at times, for us to focus on things one at a time so that we may retain enough information that it is committed to our long term memory. Consciousness and semi-consciousness both play a role in information retention. The things that we focus on or pay attention to the most are typically the things we can best remember or recall later.
SHORT-TERM (WORKING) MEMORY. Retrieved from http://www.human-memory.net/types_short.html
Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2011). Psychology (6thed.).Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.