Subscribe via RSS or e-mail      

A Simple Trick for Remembering Things That Are on the Tip of Your Tongue

The human mind

There’s a recent post on the Psychology Today site entitled “The Science of Rick Perry’s Brain Freeze,” in which psychologist Ira E. Hyman attempts to explain how a governor of Texas and presidential candidate could have had trouble remembering the Department of Energy, obvious jokes aside.

You may be pleased, annoyed, or uninterested to read that Dr. Hyman thinks Perry’s gaffe isn’t an indication of stupidity, but I’m guessing you’ll come away from the article happy based on the following potentially helpful tip. In it, he refers to the problem of “blocking,” a situation in which our brain has so much related information readily available that the specific piece of information needed can’t be found in the pile. Dr. Hyman says:

In cases of blocking, a brief period of thinking about something else may be enough to remove the block. In essence, you remove the competitors from active thought and then the next attempt to retrieve the information works more effectively.

I haven’t had the opportunity to try this yet, but you can bet I will next chance I get. If you try it, or have other tricks, I’d love for you to post in comments, below.

Photo by Dr Craig

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mark Dykeman  •  Nov 17, 2011 @8:34 am

    I haven’t tried this exact technique before. Normally I just try to clear my mind completely and then wait for the forgotten information to bubble back up again. I think may have used Hyman’s method by chance but not by intent. Sounds promising though.

Leave a Reply

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: