We’re more motivated to complete complex tasks when they are 'chunked' into manageable pieces.

Chunking is the widely accepted theory that lots of small bits of information are easier to digest than one long piece of prose.

It makes language easier to understand, decreasing effort and making it feel more straightforward. In turn increasing our motivation to read, or complete a task.

One example we can all relate to is trying to remember a phone number. It’s much easier to recall 9849523260, if we chunk it into: 98 495 232 60.


In 1956, George Miller found that most people can hold about seven short chunks of information in their short-term memory. Meaning the human brain is limited to what it can retain and recall.

So, if we want people to take in more information, it’s better to split it up, or use chunking

We may not always be able to stick to the magic number seven. But we can create and split content so it’s as concise and easy to understand as possible.


There are hundreds of biases in the world of behavioural science (even as self proclaimed experts in this field, there are too many for us to keep track of) but we have created a model that breaks down some of the most commonly and effectively used biases into six categories.

The chunking bias falls under effort part of our model.

Put simply, the less perceived effort something takes, the more likely we are to do it.


For AutoTrader, we needed to explain to vehicle retailers that paying Auto Trader’s premium price represents a good investment for their business.

We turned their existing letter, from a long continuous prose into an engaging infographic style letter, leveraging several key behavioural biases including the chunking bias to ensure we could communicate a number of messages in a single piece of communication but still remain clear & digestible.

Read the full case study here




The chunking bias to help keep messages clear and simple

The government are using chunking in their marketing. From ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS’ to ‘Hands, face, space’ it’s been used to help us navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hands Face Space

The chunking bias to making paying online as easy as possible

As social media use has risen, our attention span has plummeted. So, a lot of brands have turned to featuring shorter, more concise content we can absorb quickly. Klarna has done exactly this, to make paying for things online as simple as possible.

Klarna uses chunking bias
Klarna uses chunking bias

What is Behavioural Science?

As consumers, we don’t think rationally, we think relatively. We don’t have any objective way of judging anything. So we compare based on an in built mental model.

The trouble is this mental model is often wrong.

Behavioural science allows us to control what you are compared against:

  • What triggers them to think of your category in the first place? And what comes to mind when they do?
  • What underlying motivation is driving their behaviour?
  • What factors will they use to compare you and your competitors?

To find out more about how our behavioural model makes marketing more effective, get in touch now.

By James Ballinger

Board Director