Chunking is a psychological process referring to a memory task where the individual takes up groups of information, i.e. chunks instead of individual units, to remember better. For example, we tend to remember phone numbers better when we take three or four digits in a cluster rather than trying to remember them as separate digits. Chunking psychology definition is thus a psychological process whereby large information can be stored inside the memory more easily. The clusters that are created in mind naturally hold some meaning to the individual.
Why does chunking happen?
Researches on chunking psychology definition show that everyone of us tend to create perceptual representations of certain numbers, words or items that can be remembered as a group more easily rather than them standing separately as specific entities. These representations and how they will be created in the memory is entirely dependent on the individual himself or herself and his cognition of the features of these items. These chunks would then naturally vary from person to person. In fact, it is also dependent on the cultural background and the languages spoken by the person. For example, it is seen that that Chinese students can learn basic math, far quicker than students who have English as their mother language. This is because in Chinese, the numerals are more constant with the base 10 than English.
How does chunking help in training memory?
Every day, almost unconsciously we group digits and information. We can consider this example. If we are to remember somebody’s phone number: 9804246350, we will group the numbers as 980-424-6350. Thus we are not taking the pains of remembering every single digit separately, but we are breaking them down in three groups consisting of three-three-four digits. Again, if we take a random number like 26061992, we may break it down into groups of three like this, 26-06-1992. Here, we create a mnemonic for this number, in the form of day-month-year, i.e. a date in a particular calendar. People tend to create chunks with which they have some sort of familiarity. For example, a runner will always remember numbers by breaking them into chunks of mile times. Chunking process is used sometimes to improve the memory of patients inflicted with diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Chunking can be a great way to improve failing memory or to make children learn numbers faster. Chunking psychology definition defines it as one of the most frequently in use, psychological processes.