Phases of memory
Students often forget vital points they had crammed, in while reproducing the same on the sheets of paper during an examination. The plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses, and sometimes even the advocates forget important points while appearing in court. Similarly, during an interview, many people forget significant facts.
It is said that stress is the root cause of forgetfulness. Researchers say many people forget things quickly because of a hormone released by the body during stress.
According to the psychologists, there are three phases of memory – encoding, consolidation and retrieval.
It is “encoding” which forms memory in man initially. Long-term memories are concerned with “consolidation.” The failure of this process leads to forgetfulness during an examination, interview, testimony in court, etc. The process of accessing memories is known as “retrieval.” According to the researchers, cortisol interferes with the “retrieval” process. However, this process needs further study.
If we just limit ourselves to the literary aspects of the topic, we shall be goaded to recall A.G. Gardiner’s views that the sportsmen often have very weak memories. It is because even after a game, they feel to be virtually on the playground. Since, they are imagining in their minds the various events of the day, they forget their bats, hockey sticks, balls, and other sports material on the train by which they travel back home after playing some match outstation.
We know that there are certain items such as umbrellas which people often forget in trains, buses, markets, cinema houses or public places like parks, restaurants, etc. Ladies sometimes forget their purses after making payments to the shopkeepers or vendors.
It is true that often poets’ memory is weak because they are always thinking of rhyming lines and appropriate words for the poems they may be composing. Similarly, politicians’, memory is often weak as they are always thinking about certain happenings or imagining new things and thinking of new tricks. But, sometimes, when they have broken some promises, they take the alibi that they had altogether forgotten it. Thus their forgetfulness is sometimes real and sometimes only feigned.
A matter of habit
Some people claim that certain herbs or other drugs or specific exercises or ways of reading can help students and scholars improve their memory. Such things should be tried with caution, as some of them, at least, maybe the inventions of some quacks.
There is, however, no gainsaying that if we do everything systematically, form a habit of recording important things in a diary and consulting a dictionary to know the spelling and exact meaning of a word, it can not only bring exactness and genuineness in our writings but also improve our memory in the long run.
It will be realized that even keeping things in memory is a matter of habit in most of the cases, if not in all cases. It has to be admitted that there is hardly a person who is born with weak memory and if there are any such, their number must be very small.