Working Memory is a generalized concept by the American psychologist Baddeley, which can easily be said to be short-term memory.
In other words, working memory is a memory device that temporarily holds certain information in the head and performs efficient work with the information.
Working memory, however, is a storage device that does not function properly if there is too much information temporarily because the storage space is not large. For example, it is like a situation where a processing device that can process up to three pieces of information suddenly receives five or more pieces of information and is overloaded.
Let’s compare it a little easier. There is a convenience store with three counters. Suddenly more than 20 guests wait in line to pay for cost in front this counter at the same time. understandably, the counter work at this convenience store will be overloaded. In other words, this situation is the same as the situation inside your head.
Prior to the theory of working memory, dual-memory theory was a common theory. In dual-memory theory, memory consists of short-term memory and long-term memory.
Short-term memory of dual-memory theory is a memory store that is provided externally or temporarily stores information that comes up in long-term memory. And Long-term memory refers to a store that remembers information transferred from short-term memory by memorization or semantic organization for a long time.
American psychologist Baddeley thought that the concept of short-term memory in dual-memory theory was too simple to express human consciousness. Thus, through various studies, he proposed the concept of working memory which represents human consciousness in place of short-term memory.
Working Memory consists of three structures: a phonological loop, a visuo-spatial sketchpad, and a central executive.
A phonological loop is where we maintain and manipulate sound-based information. As we speak or read a book, information about the word is converted to speech, not a picture, and stored in a phonological loop.
A visuo-spatial sketchpad is a place to store visual and spatial information, where information about it is stored when we see something or when we think of someone’s face.
The central executive performs various functions such as assigning attention to a phonological loop or a visuo-spatial sketchpad, or to search for information in long-term memory and to integrate new information.
Reading skills to develop Working Memory
Reading a text is a very good training method for developing Working Memory.
When reading a text, have to understand the meaning of the word, understand the meaning of the whole sentence, and understand the subject by understanding the structures and key words of each paragraph.
In other words, the process of reading and understanding a text that includes a very complicated process is mainly performed in working memory. Through this process, short-term memory, concentration, and attention can be greatly improved.
Working memory can be fully developed through training.