Have you ever wondered how you encode, and later on retrieve a phone number? Do you still remember the first phone number of the home you grew up in? I do. I first encoded the number when I got to the United States at age 11. I remember it starts with a NYC 212 area code. I still remember the rest of the sever digits. How do I remember important information at work? Encoding is defined as the process of acquiring information and transferring into the long term memory (LTM). Cognitive Psychology, Pg173
How do I get information into my long term memory? I try using Shallow processing method which is through the maintenance rehearsal process. It consists of repeating it until it is passed into long term memory. When I came to live in NYC, I never had memorized a phone number before. There are a lot of risks while going to school, coming home from school in a big city like New York City. I needed to memorize the home phone number. I memorized it by a process called chunking. The phone number was 212-368-1108. I practiced chunking while trying to keep it alive on my short term memory, then it was passed onto my long term memory. I am now 32 years old, and I first memorized the number at 11 years old.
Another instance when I use memory, either short term or long term is at work. I need to recognize inmate’s faces and their name and inmate number in case of an inmate on inmate assault or inmate or staff assault. Most of the time if I cannot recall the inmate name or number, I use my long term memory and remember the inmate block. By retrieving such information I can log into the computer and search for more information. Although I might have a computer available, I rely on my short term, and long term memory to retrieve important information at work.
In conclusion, memory sure is a powerful thing. It helps me keep others and myself safe at work. I can retrieve information from the yard, chow hall etc. By retrieving such information, I can go back and analyze if I certain gang members gathered in the yard, etc. It helps me get home and to work. It helps me not forget my 4 months old in the car. It helps me remember that I need to pick up the 7 year old at school. How do you use your memory?
Goldstein, E. Bruce. (2011). Cognitive psychology connecting mind, research, and everyday experience (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.