What Is The 7 Memory Theory?

By Ishika

20 December, 2023

The “Magic Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two” is a cognitive psychology concept introduced by psychologist George A. Miller in 1956. This theory suggests that the average person’s working memory, or short-term memory capacity, is limited to approximately seven items (give or take two).


Here are five key points to explain it:

Miller suggested that the average person's short-term memory has a limited capacity of around seven items, give or take two.

1. Capacity Limit:

2. Chunks of Information:

People tend to organize information into meaningful chunks, helping them remember and process more efficiently.

Miller used the example of remembering a seven-digit phone number as a common application of this cognitive limit.

3. Phone Number Example:

4. Limitations in Recall:

Beyond seven items, recall accuracy tends to decline, illustrating the cognitive challenges of processing too much information simultaneously.

Miller's Law has been influential in fields like psychology, cognitive science, and user interface design, emphasizing the importance of chunking and considering cognitive limitations in information presentation.