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为什么我们老是记不住别人的名字?

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小编摘要:事实上,有科研研究表示,人们的名字是最难被记住的词。

There's little doubt that people's names are hard to remember. No, it's not just you, research suggests there's something unusual about names which makes them particularly tricky to recall. Indeed some researchers suggest that people's given names are the most difficult of all words to learn.

毫无疑问,人名是很难记的。是的,不仅仅只有你难以记得人名。研究表明,姓名里面拥有独特的东西,令它们难以被回忆起来。事实上,有科研研究表示,人们的名字是最难被记住的词。

记忆

One study gave participants fake names and biographies to study. Then they were tested on what they could remember. Here are the percentages for different pieces of information that were recalled:

某研究让实验者记住的一些假名和传记,测试他们能记忆的部分,籍此作为研究内容。以下是能被记住信息的比率:

Jobs: 69% 职业 69%

Hobbies: 68% 爱好 68%

Home towns: 62% 家乡 62%

First names: 31% 名字 31%

Last names: 30% 姓氏 30%

So names are more difficult to remember than what people do, what their hobbies are and where they come from. And, you won't be surprised to hear, as we age, most of us get even worse at remembering names.

因此,相对于那人的职业、爱好和家乡而言,人的姓名更难以被记得住。随着我们年龄越来越大,要记住别人的名字就更难了。

But, why?

但是,这是为什么呢?

All kinds of theories have been put forward. One is that lots of us have the same names. People guess that common first names like 'John' and surnames like 'Smith' are more difficult to remember because, on our minds, one John Smith interferes with another.

对此,人们给提了各式各样的理论。其一,大多数人拥有相同的名字。许多人表示,像“约翰”和“史密夫”这些大众化的姓氏和名字更难让人记得住,因为在我们的大脑里,一个约翰?史密夫就能搞到记忆乱乱的。

Counter-intuitively, though, some research suggests common names are easier to recall than unusual names. Other research suggests the opposite so it's not exactly clear what is going on.

也许没想到的是,有研究表明大众化的姓名比那些不常见的容易被记得住,而有研究得出的则是相反的结果,那人们就更搞不清是是非非了。

What's in a name?

姓名包含什么?

The most popular explanation in the research is that names are essentially arbitrary and meaningless.

比较让人接受的说法是:其实名字取得很随意,也没有什么含义在名字里。

For most of us our names give away few clues about our appearance, our personalities or anything about us, except maybe a rough age, ethnicity, social class and whether our parents were celebrities (hello 'Moon Unit', 'Tu Morrow' and 'Moxie Crimefighter'—yes, all real names of celebrity offspring).

对于大多数人而言,名字中没有体现出我们的外貌特征、个性和其它一些关于我们的信息,特别是大概的 年龄、民族、社会等级和父母是否是名人(你好,'Moon Unit', 'Tu Morrow' and 'Moxie Crimefighter'——是的,名人后代的名字的确如此)。

If, for example, I was called 'The Pink Panther', and I happened to look like a pink panther, you'd almost certainly find it easy to remember my name.

举个例子,如果我叫作“豹粉红”,而我也像一只粉红的豹子,那要记住我的名字实在太容易了。

Meaning is the key: we seem to find it difficult to remember names because they have weak semantic hooks. Oddly we find it easier to remember that a person is a potter, i.e. makes pots, than if their surname is actually Potter. We automatically treat names as meaningless, even if they have meaning。

另外,名字的意义是关键。当名字没有含义,我们就很难记得住这些名字。奇怪的是,我们很容易记得住像“potter,i.e。”的名字,但也记不住Potter的姓氏。就是说,即便有些姓名是有内在含义,我们也会自动认为它们是无意义的。

Perhaps it's because we get so used to the lack of association between a person's name and what they do, or much else about them. 'Dave' could just as easily be a serial murderer as a quantity surveyor. In fact it's surprising if we meet, say, a Miranda Brain and she turns out to be a neurosurgeon.

我们一直都认为,一个人的姓名与他们的所作所为和其它的事情是毫无关系而言,或许,这就是记不住姓名的原因。一个叫 “Dave”的人可能是一名职业为工料测量师的系列凶杀案的杀手。事实上,如果我们认识的一个叫“Miranda Brain(大脑)”的女士是一名神经外科医生,那我们会相当惊讶。

That's why one common trick for remembering names is to force yourself to make some kind of memorable association in your mind. It's also probably why nicknames are better remembered than given names: they have more meaning because people acquire them for particular traits or events.

所以,记名字的常用手段是让那人在你脑海里弄出一些相关性。也是因为如此,绰号会比名字更容易被记得住:人们会因某些特性和事件中得出其他人的绰号,因此绰号会有让人记得住的含义。

So, the next time you are beating yourself up for forgetting a name,don't worry, it's perfectly normal. Just be kind to others and keep reminding them what your name is. And when someone forgets your name, console yourself with Shakespeare:

因此,当下次你竟然记不起一个名字时,不用担心,因为这实在太正常了。那你就得对别人好一点,要让人们因为你的好而记得住你的名字。如果有人忘了你的名字,你可以用莎士比亚的一句话来安慰安慰自己:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet."

“名字有什么关系?把玫瑰花叫做别的名称,它还是照样芳香。”
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2012-02-14 11:29 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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