How big is short term attention?

Miller, 1956, found it to be about 7 items, but only when simple. Cowan, 2001, found it to be more normally about 4—it’s all about complexity. It can also efficiently focus on only 1 new idea, or 2 decision points. Developing ideas therefore requires externalization.rR1

  1. David Rock, Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long, 1st ed (New York: Harper Business, 2009). (See notes.)