Miller's magic number

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  • Miller's magic number - capacity of stm
    • People can remember about seven pieces of information + or - 2
    • A limitation of ‘chunking’ is that the size of the ‘chunk’ matters
    • Miller (1956) reviewed lots of research into the capacity of STM
    • We chunk things together to remember them more
    • Miller suggested this would also work with letters, numbers, musical notes and words
    • Simon (1974) - people have a shorter memory for larger chunks such as 8-word phrases
    • Miller's magic number 7 +/-2
    • Still shows our STM has a limited capacity
    • People have a larger memory for smaller chunks such as 1-syllable words


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