The Power of 3, Part 2 - “Chunking” and Human Cognition

Takeaway from Part 1…  “Remember not to break any one of the links, or the other two will fall apart”.

Numerosity, the number of “things” that humans can mentally process, stands as a widely studied cognitive topic. “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information”, published by George Miller in 1956 stands as the authoritative paper on this subject. Dr. Miller demonstrates that five to nine chunks are best.

More recent studies explain that proper brain training compounds this number and propels us to a higher order cognitive state. “Chunking” stands as the foundation. For example, phone numbers involve three chunks (area code, block, and end point), allowing us to memorize 10 digits for multiple contacts. Cognitive science established this convention.

We reach the next cognitive level when we examine the connections between chunks and elements within. In coming posts, I will share our perspective on the following Powers of 3:

Innovation… Desirability, Feasibility, Viability (Coming Soon)

Development Process…  Define & Discover, Explore, Refine & Evaluate (Coming Soon)

Project Management… Quality, Cost, Timing (Coming Soon)

Remember to keep on chunking!