Why do we forget the names of recently met people?

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Joe Dispenza


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Let's start this article with a little experiment. Read carefully and only once the list of words that is shown below and immediately afterwards take a piece of paper and write them down in the precise order in which they come to mind. TABLE, CLOUD, BOOK, TREE, SHIRT, CAT, LIGHT, BANK, CHALK, FLOWER, CLOCK, BEE, SOUP, PILLOW. If you belong to the majority of normal people you will find that, you will more easily remember the words that meet at the beginning of the list, it is the effect of the "priority", and the words that are at the end, thanks to the effect of the "more recent". The probability of remembering the words encountered in the average positions of the list are much lower. The words at the top of the list are subject to the retroactive interface (as it usually happens to us with the name of a recently known person) which are subject to the interference of all the material assimilated after the name. On the contrary, the final words of the list are subject to proactive interference and thus are subject to the interference of all the material assimilated previously (all the preceding words). The central words have the misfortune of undergoing both interferences, with the consequent negative results for the memory. These forgetfulnesses are explained through the theory of information interference which expresses how short memory is rapidly eliminated and replaced almost immediately by subsequent information. The interference of subsequent information occurs when the mind does not have time to do a fundamental operation to keep the memory in the short memory: the reiteration. It is well known that a telephone number repeated several times, in our minds or aloud, helps to keep the memory available, at least for the time necessary to make the call. If something intervenes or interrupts the repetition (of which we are not always aware), the number just heard is immediately forgotten. Practical applications? The next time we meet a stranger it will be better to repeat his name several times so as not to end the conversation by asking him: what did he say his name is?
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