Working memory is the part of you that organizes and executes action in real-time. All real-time actions—save stupor or deep sleep—require working memory.
Working memory is where your life meets the world, where your existential rubber meets the real-time road.
Working memory is the spear point of the mind as it does life. For this reason, it is the single best key to understanding human psychology. And through this understanding to change it for the better.
Working memory shows you how you really think, feel, or perceive. Properly observed, it does not lie. Working memory happens too quickly to lie.
If you can observe your working memory as it performs—in a flash—a significant psychological act, you will have an accurate handle on the deep memories that comprise your psycho-spiritual makeup.
Working memory is quick. It’s “contents” or “the items it entertains” come and go quickly. Its “contents” can be perceptions, memories, judgement, sensations, words, emotions, almost anything.
Working memory is obviously linked long-term memory though how it is linked is not clear to science.
Phone numbers, remembered or not, typically come up in this context. But the connection between working and long-term memory is much more than just that.
Long-term memories—your psychology or life experiences—deeply color working memory. And this coloring changes in different contexts.
When we access long-term “psychological” (aren’t they all?) memories, they are huge; they are large systems of associations and neurons. This is why overemphasizing long-term memories and that aspect of psychology does not provide full insight into the workings of the mind.
For that we need the spear-point—working memory—to show us precisely where the contact points really are, precisely how we engage with the real world.
I bet most readers have no idea how to analyze their working-memories, how to accurately access them for psychological insight.