How to Chunk Information

Darryl Bachmeier
Jun 16, 2020


Chunked information has always been confirmed as the most convenient way of memorizing information for easier understanding. Most of the information on the things we use today are chunked, but maybe we are too busy to notice. Let’s take the phone numbers we use today for example, (depending on your location), some phone numbers are arranged initially as “08078278001,” but they are being chucked into “0807-8278-001” to make it easier to recall.

Let’s take another example; maybe you are meant to remember countries like Nigeria, Ghana, America, England, Germany, and New Zealand. This information can also be chunked into N.G.A.E.G.N., with each latter representing each country. This method helps you to remember those countries at any given time easily. There is some other evidence of information chunking around us, they include:

Our credit/debit cards, it is chunked into three or four groups.

Names of agencies, organizations, e.t.c. For example, the Council of Economic Advisers (C.E.A.), Council on Environmental Quality (C.E.Q.), National Security Council (N.S.C.), Federal National Mortgage, Association (Fannie Mae), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), e.t.c.

Chunked information can even be seen in our names, for example, Albert James (A.J.), Cameron Jett (C.J.), Drew Jackson (D.J.), Jayden Dean (J.D), it goes on and on.

How to use Chunking Information

When next you are trying to make a vast list look memorable, we advise you to start by grouping them into simple acronyms. In one of some memory experiments, a volunteer was made to remember seven items. He later increased it to eighty items for a 20-month duration. To achieve this, he had devoted an hour each day, four times a week to succeed in this task.

But while you might not be able to dedicate such about of time trying to improve your memory, there are still things you can do to improve your brain capacity to memorize. Below are some other ways with which you can get acquitted to chunking information.

Practice

Practice they say makes perfect, one awhile, challenge your ability to memorize; challenge yourself to memorize more than you use to, no matter how small. And when you are gradually succeeding in this task, press on and try to remember more chunks of information.

Create Connections

As you are trying to group this information, look for a way to connect them. And to do that, you have first to understand what these items have in common. The connection may be from the spelling, the rhyme in the pronunciation, the similarity in the letters that started the words, or even their ability to share a similar purpose.

Associate

By associating them, we mean linking them up with familiar things that are already stored in your memory. Let’s take, for example; you can easily remember you need stuff like watermelon, apples, pineapple, vanilla, and strawberries by just associating it to some smoothie your mother use to make.

Apply other Memory Strategies

You can use a system known as “mnemonics” to chunk up different information as they come. Let’s practicalize this, though we have emphasized this in our introductory section. If you are going to the grocery store, for example, and you have in your list items like Banana, Apple, Orange, Citrus, Kiwi, and Lemon. You can also choose to chunk it as B.A.O.C.K.L. By doing this; you are likely to even ignore the list you have on paper; make an acronym from items.

Some Scholarly Explanation

There has been a scientific explanation for this aspect of learning, Daniel Bor, author of The Ravenous Brain, a neuroscientist, make it clear that information chunking is the human ability to hack his memory limit. He further argued that our tendency to connect is not only crucial for our memory but also act as our source of creativity. This point also brings to mind the late Steve Jobs famous quote: “Creativity is just connecting things.” In summary, information chunking helps people take up smaller information and combine it into more reasonable, memorable, understandable information.

Bruner’s theory of instruction recognizes four features of effective instruction which include readiness, content structure, and sequencing. These principles were what led to the concept of a “spiral curriculum.” The spiral curriculum is defined as the concept of revisiting fundamental ideas repeatedly, capitalizing on them, and performing these ideas up to the masterly.

Richard E. Mayer, an educational psychologist with 23 published books and over 390 other publications, developed some sets of learning principles. The most popular is the segmenting principles which state that humans learn better when a complex but continuous lesson is designated into segments. An example of this can be found in our previous explanations when we talked about arranging your phone numbers in a more comprehensive format. Finally, the memory of the learner is less likely to be overloaded with necessary processing when primary materials are presented in small-sized chunks.

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