There are plenty of good reasons why we all draw a blank on a person's name seconds after learning it. If you're meeting a large group of people for the first time, for instance, your brain can only process so much info. Or you may not be that interested in the person--he's the customer service agent for the cable company, and chances are you'll never speak to him again.
But a big reason is that the name hasn't had a chance to shift from our short-term, working memory into another part of the brain that remembers things for longer spans of time. Short-term memory is precisely what it sounds like: the part of the brain that stores information temporarily until it's replaced by other stuff (like phone numbers or facts about Pope Francis). To transfer a name into longer-term memory, you need some savvy strategies.
Now science has come up with a good one: Repeat the name aloud to another person (even the one you're being introduced to). Here's why: A study from the University of Montreal found that when we repeat information aloud in the presence of someone else, we have a better chance of recalling it later. This is in fact a better way to remember a name than repeating it to yourself, either silently or aloud.
So try it the next time you are introduced to someone. It may just do the trick!
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