Da(n), Joh(sh), Je(ss) - EMMA! The misnaming phenomenon explained.

March 17, 2017

Growing up with 3 other siblings meant that when my mother called for one of us, she often rattled off the start of every other household name, including the dogs before her brain caught up with her mouth, and she was able to say what she needed to say to whoever needed to hear it. 


As a child, this phenomenon not only offended me, but I was curious as to why it happened. All these years I just put it down to the fact that she quite often dressed us the same so therefore struggled to tell us apart!














It wasn't until just recently as I was researching 'other parenting phenomenons' (more on that later) that I discovered a study Memory & Cognition categorize information.  published in the journal that revealed a scientific explanation behind this 'seeming insult of misnaming'. The explanation has nothing to do with favoritism, memory loss or confusion, but  everything to do with the way our brains categorize information


Basically our brains store the names of those who we are most familiar with, in the same box. So when our brain tries to quickly retrieve one of them, it sometimes extracts the wrong one because they are all grouped in there together. 


So don't be concerned if you run through 3, 4 or even 5 names before you land on the right one: It just means you're blessed up top with a full  'familiar names box'.


Have you experienced this happening in your home?

If so, let your children know why, so they feel special rather then offended.




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