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As psychologists applied a methodical approach to studying memory, it became clear that it is not just a simple matter of storing and retrieving information. There appear to be two different kinds of memory store: short-term memory [STM] and long-term memory [LTM]. [STM] holds information for only a matter of seconds and has a limited capacity, while LTM can store information unlimited amounts of information indefinitely.
STM deals with the information we need to use immediately, but anything that needs to be remembered for future use is stored in LTM. For example, when we look up a phone number, our STM remembers it just long enough for us to dial the number. But if it is a number we are going to need later, or that we use repeatedly, we memorise it by moving it into LTM. Most psychologists recognise this dual-store model of memory, but there is some disagreement as to the exact roles of STM and LTM, their connection and whether they are in fact separate system.