"Memory is the retention of, and ability to recall information, personal experiences, and procedures. There are very few activities we partake in that are not in some way affected by memory. Yet, because memory is such a huge part of our everyday lives, most of us take it for granted, holding beliefs about memory without knowing whether they are based on truth or fiction. There is no universally agreed upon paradigm of how the mind, brain or memory work. However it is a strongly held view that learning and memory involves a series of stages. The first stage (Encoding) occurs when a person is presented with learning material. The information presented is encoded and some of it is stored into the memory system, thus storage is the second stage. The third and final stage is retrieval, which involves recovering or extracting stored information from the memory system. An issue of great controversy in psychological circles is how accurate these retrievals prove to be. .
Evidence has revealed that memories are not so solid as they have been assumed to be. Some people would have us think that the memory is like a tape recorder that records every event accurately and keeps it intact. But research on memory has disqualified that myth and raised many questions about remembering and forgetting. Memories are created out of images, conversations, dreams, suggestions and imagination as well as actual events and as we grow older these memories change over time. It has been suggested by various cognitive psychologists that we store long-term memories in fragments of information rather than a long video reel, and when we retrieve a long-term memory we add other information to the fragments, information that fills in the gaps. This additional information often contains inaccuracies. .
A persons" emotional state is important in the formation of memory. One scientifically unproven notion is that painful memories are pushed out of normal memory and placed into the unconscious, this is known as a Repressed memory.