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Easier to recall a face than the name

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Have you ever found yourself struggling to remember the name of someone whose face seems familiar? You are not alone and this may be normal according to new research, which revealed that we are actually better at remembering names than faces.

The authors of the study, from the University of York, suggest that when we castigate ourselves for forgetting someone’s name we are placing unfair demands on our brains.

Remembering a person’s face in this situation relies on recognition, but remembering their name is a matter of recall, and it is already well-established that human beings are much better at recognition than recall. The researchers also point out that we only become aware that we have forgotten a name when we have already recognised the face.

Dr. Rob Jenkins, from the Department of Psychology at the University of York, said: ” Our life experiences with names and faces have misled us about how our minds work, but if we eliminate the double standards we are placing on memory, we start to see a different picture.”

He also added, “Knowing someone’s face, but not remembering their name is an everyday phenomenon.

So, the next time you find yourself struggling to remember the name of a familiar face, relax and ask them to remind you their name!

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