George A. Miller.
The magical number seven, plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information.
Psychological Review, vol 63, no. 2, pages 81-97 (March 1956).
The magical number seven: Still magic after all these years?
Psychological Review, vol 101, no 2, pages 353-356 (April 1994).
The magical number 4 in short-term memory: A reconsideration of mental storage capacity.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 24, issue 1, pages 87-114 (February 2001),
Cowan's article is the first of about two dozen in this issue on various aspects of the problem, followed by Cowan's response (“Metatheory of storage capacity limits”, pages 154-176) in which he defends the number 4.
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Last revised: 11 September 2014.