The span of absolute judgment and the span of immediate memory impose severe limitations on the amount of information that we are able to receive, process, and remember.
The process of recoding
is a very important one in human psychology and deserves much more explicit
attention than it has received.
The concepts and measures
provided by the theory of information provide a quantitative way of getting at
some of these questions.
what about the magical number seven? What about the seven
wonders of the world, the seven seas, the seven deadly sins, the seven
daughters of Atlas in the Pleiades, the seven ages of man, the seven levels of
hell, the seven primary colors, the seven notes of the musical scale, and the
seven days of the week? What about the seven-point rating scale, the seven
categories for absolute judgment, the seven objects in the span of attention,
and the seven digits in the span of immediate memory? For the present I propose
to withhold judgment. Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all
these sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I suspect
that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence.
Apr 20th, 2015
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