‘Magic number 7’


The “Magic Number 7” is a paper written by a cognitive psychologist George Miller.  It argues that the number of objects an average human can consciously process at any one time is 7 ± 2.

We can hold 7 plus or minus 2 separate bits of information consciously at any one time. There are approximately 2 million bits of information entering our brains per second, we delete, distort and generalise through our filters until we reach the number seven plus or minus two.  This means that we are programmed by our filters in how we experience events and react to them.  We can adapt the way that we take in the information by chunking (grouping information into chunks) in order to expand our capacity.

See a full animated explanation of the Magic number 7 in our NLP e-Learning training programme.