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Chunking Up and Chunking Down

Chunking up (moving from specific to general) is the process of bringing a given statement/s or idea into a higher level of abstraction. This is typically done to reframe the given statement or experience into a more positive context which can then accommodate other seemingly opposing ideas and views.

Chunking down is the direct opposite of upward chunking. It requires a person to break down a situation, experience, idea, or object into its component parts to diminish its overall complexity. This deconstruction process reframes an individual’s perception of a situation through focus on the individual parts rather than the whole. This also pertains to making a general view more specific. Downward chunking is typically used for problem-solving activities. This process allows a person to tackle individually each component of the problem rather than becoming overwhelmed by the complexity of the problem as a whole.

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