Re: 7 plus or minus 2

Subject: Re: 7 plus or minus 2
From: Sabahat Ashraf <sabahat -at- OPENIX -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1996 13:43:07 -0400

I wanted to chime in to say that a "chunk" of information will vary with
the user, the context, and the stage of (for want of a better word)
evolution of the user. For example, consider the following:

When I move to a new country [not an entirely fictional situation], at
first I can only memorize the local numbers since they usually have
about 5-7 digits [depending on the country I moved to and the size of
the town]. Numbers with the same prefix as mine [say 273 4861 as opposed
to my 273 1577] are easier to remember: they have just five chunks of
information, i.e., "same prefix as mine"-4-8-6-1. At this stage I can
only remember long distance numbers with difficulty and I have to keep
referring to my phone book for most of them since they entail dialling
about 9-11 numbers [depending on whether they are in-country or

Soon I start to get a feel for area codes amd it becomes easier to learn
the whole 9-10 digit number: my new 8 chunks of information are area
code [I don't need to remember "9-0-8", but just "same area code as my
brother" or "southern New Jersey", all of which just mean to me the
"phrase" "908"] and the 7 digits of the number.


Notice: Some old phone numbers have been used, others have been changed
or otherwise fictionalized. If you want to call me during office hours,
please use the number below.

sabahat -at- openix -dot- com - ashrafs -at- rpi -dot- edu - (201) 301 4232
"If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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