Adult Learner

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Adult Learner > Factors > Short-term Memory

Short-term Memory

Factor Connections

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Short-term Memory temporarily holds a limited amount of information which is forgotten over time. It is our holding tank for skills and knowledge that, with rehearsal, can move to our more permanent Long-term Memory. There is an age-related decline in Short-term Memory that is most prominent in older adults.

Main Ideas

There are two types of Short-term Memory:

  • Verbal Short-term Memory stores verbal information.
  • Visuospatial Short-term Memory stores information about our perceptions of spatial relationships. This type of Short-term Memory declines over the lifespan. When tasks are situated within familiar contexts, learners may be more readily able to recall from Short-term Memory. Metacognitive awareness also helps learners to offset the age-related decline in Short-term Memory capacity.

Short-term Memory is different from Working Memory because information is not manipulated in Short-term Memory, as it is in Working Memory.

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