Re: The semi-magic number 7? Not for lists.

Subject: Re: The semi-magic number 7? Not for lists.
From: "Nagai, Paul" <pnagai -at- VISA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 08:29:35 -0700

> Regardless of what Miller may or may not have intended to say, the "no
> more
> than 7" rule has taken on a life of its own. I vote to exterminate it now,
> please.
>
Agreed. However,

> And I just happen to have an irrefutable research experiment of my own to
> blow the "no more than 7" rule out of the water. Anyone can do it in under
> 15 minutes. All that's required is a paper and pencil and a willing
> partner.
>
The experiment you describe does not test the experimental (psychological
perception/cognition) definition of "short term memory" and, so, does not
refute Miller or those who misapply his research. The mnemonic techniques
you describe increase subjects' abilities to quickly and powerfully encode
information into long term memory, as defined by research psychologists.
(Or, as I used to refer to it while cramming for tests, mid-term memory. :)

------
Paul Nagai


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