Seven and the sausage machine: searching for conclusions in Miller's 1956 magical paper

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2010-12
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This paper offers an analytical review of Miller's classic paper of 1956 on 'the magical number 7'. It takes account of that paper's contradictions as well as of its implicit conclusions. Miller's text is by no means clear in its logic or in its terms, and a review might be deemed helpful to those who are trying to understand it. The discussion begins with a brief historical overview. Miller's paper is then reviewed according to the order of the points made by Miller, thus facilitating a lucid comparative reading with that paper. Guidance on interpreting Miller's text is given throughout, leading to a number of technical conclusions. Finally, two general conclusions are offered, one which refers to the decision-making literature, and one which refers more synoptically to science itself. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


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