Published Dec 26, 2017
Mujgan Sagir Ozdemir


The limitations on human performance, especially on processing information, have continuously received attention since Miller’s (1956) seminal article. Thomas L. Saaty added to the body of knowledge with a paper titled, ‘Why the Magic Number Seven Plus or Minus Two’, and this memoir essay summarizes that paper and its main contribution to the literature and science (Saaty & Özdemir, 2003). The paper concludes by supporting the idea that to serve both consistency and redundancy, it is best to keep the number of elements to seven or less, and therefore Miller’s seven plus or minus two is indeed a limit on our ability to process information. Thomas L. Saaty was born on the 7th month of the year and passed away on August 7*2 = 14, 2017.


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AHP, judgments, consistency

Miller, G.A. (1956). The magical number seven plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information, Psychological Review, 63(2), 81-97. Doi:

Saaty, T.L. (1996). Multicriteria Decision Making, The Analytic Hierarchy Process. Pittsburgh, PA: RWS Publications.

Saaty, T.L, & Özdemir M.S. (2003). Why the magic number seven plus or minus two, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 38, 233-244. Doi:

Wilkinson, J.H. (1965). The algebraic eigenvalue problem. Oxford:Clarendon Press. Doi: