Why We forget Names

We all know that feeling of meeting someone, learning their name, and then totally forgetting and living in fear of ever bumping into them again. Why do we forget names? What is it about them that makes it so much harder to remember than other things they may have told us?

It Could be the Baker Effect

The Baker effect is a concept that suggests we are more likely to remember someone is a baker than remember they are called Baker. Basically if a person gives you nothing to connect their name to, then it’s much easier to forget than if they said, ‘I’m a teacher’. You would forget their name faster than the profession because you can associate the profession with something real in your mind.

It Could be that we Don’t Care

Not to be rude, but sometimes we just have no interest in that person we have just met. This may seem like that is us that is failing here, but our short term memory can only process so much in a short time, and when we don’t find something interesting, not enough neurons in the brain are activated and so if we want to remember something not interesting we really have to concentrate on it.

So there you have it, either it’s not relevant or it’s not interesting, but either way at least you have an excuse next time you forget.

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