Chunk to improve your memory

Memory limitations

Researchers have known for some time that short-term memory is limited. Possibly the first study into such limitation even pre-dates the separation of memory into short-term and long-term components (the first model to incorporate this separation appeared in 1968, although there was general agreement that memory was probably organised in such a way well before this.

What a chunk is and what it is not

This idea of digit, or memory, span might need a little unpacking, especially as Miller was a little vague about what constituted a chunk.

Chunking or Grouping?

These, then, may (or may not) represent chunks, because Miller makes the distinction between grouping and chunking. The numbers are unlikely to be meaningful so there is no representation of them stored in long-term memory. We may remember them better simply due to the pauses we place between the numbers, very much like the way we remember telephone numbers. Often this grouping of numbers is erroneously described as chunking.



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