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C Style: Standards and Guidelines (contents)

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

PART 1 : BASICS

CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors

2.1 Pattern Recognition
2.2 Filtering
2.3 Habit
2.4 Redundancy
2.5 Cues and Context
2.6 Recognizing Basic features
2.7 Short Term, Working and Long Term memory
2.8 Chunking
2.9 The Rule of Seven
2.10 Context Switching
2.11 Modifying the image
2.12 Memorizing sounds
2.13 Eye focus
2.14 Eye movement
2.15 Looking ahead
2.16 Looking back
2.17 The subconscious is always right
2.18 Natural ambition
2.19 Summary

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2.19 Summary

  • We learn by making patterns, then recognizing them later.
  • We can filter out non-matching patterns.
  • Habits are a bane and a boon. Learn the same habits as everyone else.
  • We can recognize things given remarkably little information. However, the less information we have, the more likely we are to err.
  • We start predicting patterns before we have all the information. So don't be ambiguous, especially at the beginning.
  • The context contributes much to the recognition of an individual item.
  • Use columns to help make things stand out.
  • We remember by differentiating from existing patterns then integrating into long term memory.
  • Don't overload short term memory. Help the reader organize and file information in long term memory.
  • Small is beautiful. Break the code into bite-sized chunks.
  • Use the rule of seven, plus or minus two.
  • The mind has a stack too. Avoid reader memory stack overloads.
  • Nesting increases complexity in a non-linear fashion.
  • Beware of subtle pattern changes, they are hard to spot. Make different things significantly different.
  • You are likely to confuse words that sound alike.
  • Keep related things close together, preferably on one page.
  • When most items are on the left, you are more likely to miss things on the right.
  • Keep the layout light and familiar. Help the reader relax.
  • Separate things out. Make the start of each chunk easy to find.
  • If you believe something is right, you won't see what's wrong.
  • Esteem needs will make people enjoy being 'guru's.

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