Here are some chunking techniques for memorizing information:
- Use acronyms: COVER (Carl, Olivia, Veronica, Ed, Rick) names of your bosses
- Use codes: 1800-74992 (1800-PIZZA)
- Use songs: one eight hundred, two six seven, two thousand and one…alarm force! (jingle in the ad for Alarmforce’s 1800-267-2001 number
I found an amazing example of chunking which I’ll summarize below. A man could initially memorize on the spot, 7 digits in a row. For an hour a day, 3 times a week, for two years, he would be given a sequence of numbers to memorize. If we got them correct, his next sequence would be 1 digit longer. If we got them wrong, his next sequence would be 1 digit less. After the experiment, he could memorize 80 digits in a row!
But how did he do it? The average human has a 4-item limit. He would memorize the sequences of numbers by grouping them into well known numbers. For example, 3141 are the first four digits of pie. If he was given 20 digits, he could compact it into 4 items. He eventually learnt how to compact items into multiple levels. So a sequence of 80 digits would be compacted into 4 groups of 20, and each 20 digit sequence would be compacted into another 4 groups. Amazing!