It turns out that the way human memory works is the scientific explanation for why so many individuals struggle to remember names. Because of this, we call names “episodic” data, which means they are linked to separate events in a person’s life.
On the other hand, “semantic” information, like general knowledge and ideas, is stored in a different part of the brain and is usually easier to get to. Because names aren’t always meaningful or useful to us, they aren’t always deeply imprinted in memory.
Having trouble recalling proper names is referred to in the medical field as “proper name anomia.” This term refers to the inability to remember concrete, personal names instead of more abstract ones. As well as being a symptom of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke, normal aging and other causes can cause it to manifest itself in otherwise healthy people.
Remembering names is a talent that is useful in both personal and professional situations, but many people find it difficult to master. Whether at a party trying to meet new people or a business meeting attempting to strengthen client contacts, remembering names is a surefire way to make a good first impression. You can use various strategies to boost your memory for names.
Don’t waste any time. Keep saying the name. Repetition of a name after hearing it is one of the best ways to remember a name. By associating the name’s sound with the person with whom you’re speaking, you’re increasing the likelihood that you’ll remember the name in the future.
You can repeat the name silently or jump right into using the name in conversation. Nice to meet you, John; What do you do for a living, Sarah; etc., are all examples of helpful, memory-enhancing small talk.
Put a picture of the person whose name you’re trying to recall. This can be a picture of the person, such as their face, or it can be an image associated with how their name is pronounced.
You might picture a rose if someone’s name is Rose. Jack conjures up images of a jack-in-the-box for some people. True, these are simple ones and people often have more complicated names. The more striking and original the picture, the more likely you will remember the name.
Make the most of your memory with these tools. Information is more relevant and memorable through the use of mnemonic devices. A common mnemonic method is to make an acronym out of the first letters of a person’s name. If you meet someone named Susan, you can write it as “S.U.S.A.N.” to help you remember it.
The use of rhyme is another method of memorization. Kate is a name that might be easier to remember if you rhymed it with something that comes to you in terms of a word you might use to describe this person.
In computer education, there is one mnemonic everyone needs to learn, referred to as the order of math operations. What is it exactly?
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally= Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.
Medicine has mnemonics, too. Students are urged to learn as many of them as possible since they can be on the all-important MCAT exam.
In psychology and when writing professionally, we use KISS (keep it simple, stupid).
Repeated practice is essential. Remembering names takes practice, just like any other ability. Your memory will improve in proportion to the amount of time you spend using and testing it.
Make an effort to remember the names of the people you meet every day and make it a habit to use their names in conversation. To further hone your memory, try your hand at a few memory games or some memory exercises.
The ability to recall people’s names makes a great first impression and contributes to lasting connections. So, learn how to name-call and get ahead of the game.