Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):154-176 (2001)

Commentators expressed a wide variety of views on whether there is a basic capacity limit of 3 to 5 chunks and, among those who believe in it, about why it occurs. In this response, I conclude that the capacity limit is real and that the concept is strengthened by additional evidence offered by a number of commentators. I consider various arguments why the limit occurs and try to organize these arguments into a conceptual framework or “metatheory” of storage capacity limits meant to be useful in future research to settle the issue. I suggest that principles of memory representation determine what parts of the representation will be most prominent but that limits of attention (or of a memory store that includes only items that have been most recently attended) determine the 3- to 5-chunk capacity limit.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0140525x0161392x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,554
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is More Explanatory, Processing Capacity or Processing Speed?Nelson Cowan - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):835-836.
Long-Term Memory Span.James S. Nairne & Ian Neath - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):134-135.
The Dangers of Taking Capacity Limits Too Literally.S. E. Avons, Geoff Ward & Riccardo Russo - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):114-115.
A Temporal Account of the Limited Processing Capacity.Simon Grondin - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):122-123.
Over the Top: Are There Exceptions to the Basic Capacity Limit?John Wilding - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):152-153.


Added to PP index

Total views
363 ( #18,298 of 2,331,156 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #397,060 of 2,331,156 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes