Re: Info Mapping : the "7 +/- 2" rule

Subject: Re: Info Mapping : the "7 +/- 2" rule
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 1996 06:39:21 PDT


As far as remembering steps -- realistically, how critical
is it? I cannot remember (sorry) the last time that I
read instructions, remembered them, then applied them.
Computer-stuff or anything with some assembly
required, I generally read one step, do it, read another
do that, and so forth. Either I fall into that first
standard deviation that Frederic mentioned, or I don't
read instructions "normally."

I'm usually pretty good at following directions
(after it didn't work the first time and I resorted
to reading the manual), but can't imagine that it'd
make a difference to me if there were 3 or 33 steps.
I'd remember them one at a time anyway.

Are there ANY studies that apply this theory to
instructional text? I'd even be interested in
anecdotal evidence -- how many of the people on TECHWR-L
read all steps, remember them, then apply them?
How many go one step at a time?


Eric J. Ray ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com
TECHWR-L Listowner

--- On Thu, 5 Sep 1996 09:12:42 -0700 Frederic Wronecki <frederic -dot- wronecki -at- WANADOO -dot- FR>

>Then if a 9-step procedure must be remembered and performed, the chances
>are that about 18 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 13 = 70 % (yes : 70 % !) of the
>operators will fail or ask for assistance from time to time. With a
>7-step procedure, the risk would be 43 %, and with a 5-step procedure, it
>would fall under the acceptable value of 18 %.

>So the question shifts from "what is the maximum number of items" to
>"which level of risk can you afford ?".
>Frederic Wronecki
>France Telecom, Paris, France
>mailto:frederic -dot- wronecki -at- wanadoo -dot- fr

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