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The Solution to Forgetting Names

And why we forget them in the first place

Zoe Clark, Copy Editor

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Just as a man, or unfortunate woman, would blame premature balding on genetics, the reason for our difficulty with remembering names can also be found if we look deep within ourselves.

To clarify, no soul-searching is necessary. Our brains are always making neuron connections to send information and form understandings between certain people, places, things and ideas.

“If I haven’t seen someone in a while, I know their face, but the name takes a while,” Science teacher Mrs. Dawn Fuelberth said. Truth be told, these issues remembering are the case with most people, and there’s actually a perfectly logical explanation to it.

When given a name, there is nothing for the brain to connect it with. When we see a face, however, we can make connections based on other faces we have seen before. In addition, most humans are visual learners as opposed to auditory learners. This means that they remember more effectively by seeing than hearing.

Along with the idea of forming mental connections, there is something called the Baker/baker Effect. Imagine being introduced to a ‘Tom Baker.’ Your attention is then diverted to something across the room. You turn back and all a sudden you can’t remember his name.

Now imagine the introduction from the beginning, but Tom Baker is an actual baker. Though you may not have it down perfectly, now you have a connection formed that can only get stronger.

This doesn’t have to be as exact as Baker/baker. In fact, you use this technique quite often in its simpler phase: nicknames. “Let’s see, there’s Eric ‘Melrose Place,’ ‘Sweet Caroline’ Connolly, and ‘I Wouldn’t Walk Five Thousand Miles’ Hubert,” teacher Marty Plum listed. “Referencing TV shows and music helps,” Plum explains.

Another factor is known as the Next-in-Line effect. This happens when you’re so occupied thinking about how you’ll introduce yourself or worrying about what people will think of you that you neglect to pay proper attention when they introduce themselves. This also occurs when you have a lot on your mind. To fix this, simply work on prioritizing your thoughts and focusing on the person.

“I honestly take my glasses off so I can’t see them [the students], and it’s just a blur except for the front row,” teacher Brent Goetzinger stated. “Tricking people into telling me their name and acting like I know it [is my trick]. I don’t have any mnemonic devices or anything. I’m not that clever,” Goetzinger said.

Enter the third reason: you simply do not care. You know who you are. There really is no cure to that, so my apologies for the terrible diagnosis.

To remember an article about forgetting things, consider using one, or several of the tips. So, without further ado: Don’t forget to pay attention when you’re Next-in-Line at B/bakers!

 

Zoe Clark

Zoe became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year involved in robotics, academic decathlon, and many other electives, and spends what little free time she has reading. You can email her at [email protected]

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