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Here’s Science Telling You How To Remember People’s Names

  • JWB Post
  •  October 12, 2015

 

Sherlock Homes is an ironic example of how even the wittiest of all persons can be so forgetful. Remember how he always got Inspector Lestrade’s first name wrong, thereby rewarding him a new initial at every encounter? Lestrade’s first name is Greg, by the way.

Anywho, the fact of the matter is that when a fictional character (that too an extraordinarily intelligent one) can be so forgetful, then we after all are humans. Erring and confused humans!

We are often very poor at the name game, as a consequence of which, at every new party or gathering, we are like…

‘Sorry! What was your name again?’

Or funnier still…

*looking at someone and calling them with a wrong name and getting a dumbfound expression in return*

Fortunately, science is on the move to rescue us from such awkward encounters. In a recent study, it has been found that repetition is the key to register a piece of information in our brains. But the best way is to say that information to someone else.

“We knew that repeating aloud was good for memory, but this is the first study to show that if it is done in a context of communication, the effect is greater in terms of information recall,” says Victor Boucher, a professor in the University of Montreal’s Department of Linguistics and Translation and one of the study’s lead authors.

The study encompassed 4 tasks to be performed by the subjects while reading: repeating the words in their head, repeating them silently while moving their lips, repeating them out loud while looking at the screen and, lastly, repeating them aloud to another person.

The results showed the last option to be the most effective in remembering names.

“The simple fact of articulating without making a sound creates a sensorimotor link [a message that comes from one of our five senses and is processed by our brains] that increases our ability to remember, but if it is related to the functionality of speech, we remember even more,” Boucher said.

Hmmm. This is interesting.

Another life-hack when it comes to remembering someone’s name is asking the person something about themselves as soon as we meet them. Just as the person speaks, our brain registers and stores their impression and this impressions helps in remembering their name.

And with this piece of information we’ve all become clever-er, clever-er than Sherlock Holmes! *Evil grin*

Dear Mr. Holmes, are you reading this?

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