by Catherine E. Myers
Copyright © 2002 Memory Loss and the Brain
the same thing with this number:
Easy, right? This number also contains ten digits-but those
digits are broken into recognizable, meaningful "chunks": three
numbers in series (123); a type of airplane (747); and the date
of the American Declaration of Independence (1776). Thus, there
are only three things to remember, instead of ten.
Chunking works well for other purposes, too. Let's say you have
to buy ten things at the grocery store: milk, cereal, oranges,
eggs, butter, bread, rice, grapes, rolls, apples.
That's a lot to remember off the top of your head. But the same
information can be "chunked":
3 dairy (milk, eggs,
4 grains (cereal, bread, rice, rolls)
3 fruits (oranges, grapes, apples)
This may be easier to remember. Next time you have to remember
a list of information, see if there is a way the information
can be "chunked" so you have fewer items to store-and a better
chance of remembering them.