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Why do we tend to forget people’s names?

Forget People’s Names

Everyone knows that embarassing feeling when you are standing in front of a person and can’t remember his or her name a few minutes later after the introduction. It seems this is a trait that all human beings have in common.

Here are the main reasons why it is so easy to forget people’s names.

The next-in-line effect

If there is a group of people and everyone has to introduce ones’ self, it is hard to concentrate and listen properly. Usually the concentration is devoted to our future performance, when we will need to say our name. Thus, there is not enough of capacity to memorize new names when the brain power is focused on ones’ self.

The interest is not there

Having interest is key. Some sociologists claim that more socially aware people tend to learn other person name much faster comparing with those, who aren’t very active socially. Individuals, who are into relationships and communication in a way train their brain and are motivated to remember new names.

Short-term memory

The human memory is based on two types storages: short-term and long term. In day-to-day usage is actually a long-term memory that we use. But before a long-term memory can be established, a short-term memory must be worked through. Basically, all names go to the short-term storage first. Then, depending on the importance and concentration level, those names are either transferred to long-term memory or fade away shortly.

Names are arbitrary

Names don’t keep any information about the personality, and that makes the memorizing process hard. In general, humans are better at visualising, thus can remember faces faster and easier. For this reason, people are used to connecting a specific face or behaviour trait to a person. Moreover, our names don’t have synonyms, which means there are no substitutes. Once again, it makes a learning stage more complicated.

Probably after reading this we should avoid being judgemental and additionally, be less demanding of ourselves since everyone has the same battle. So, Zack, oh, sorry Brian, good luck!

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