seven plus or minus two

TonyJeffs2 tonyjeffs2 at aol.comTonyJ
Sat Oct 28 08:25:47 EST 2000


I've often read that we can hold between 5 and 9 chunks of data in short term
memory.
I'm very aware I can only hold 3 chunks of data in my short term memory.  It
doesn't much matter how easy they are.

For example if I have to remember 3 names and addresses and tell them to 
someone down the corridor, eg
"Smith of 1 Smith ST
Jones of 2 Jones St"
and 
"Brown of 3 Brown St"

I'd have absolutely no proble even if they were unusual names and addresses, eg
"Nadjinski of 264 Burscough st
Disraeli of 185 Cowper Conduit
Entertwistle of 365 Southburn Dale"

I can remember 3 chunks of info for as long as necessary - several minutes.

If however I have to remember 4 or more names, even simple ones, I cant do it
unless I am able to devise some sort of mnemonic, but it is quite an effort. -
much easier to use a pen and paper.

Am I unusual in being limited to 3 pieces of information in my short term
memory?

Tony









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