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CHAPTER 2 : Psychological Factors


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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The mechanics of the mind in general and of the memory in particular affects the way we think, learn, remember and recognize the world around us. The brain specializes in taking the unfamiliar and, with a little pain and suffering, turning it into an instantly recognizable piece of information. Thus the ease with which a programmer can pick up someone else's program and fully understand it has as much to do with basic psychology as with the specific knowledge that the programmer has about the language.

By taking a closer look at some of the peculiarities of the human mind we can better understand why coding standards are so valuable in helping to make code more readable and understandable, and thus more maintainable. We can then use the psychological principles discussed as guiding principles when discussing and deriving points of style in later chapters.


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