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Reader's Digest (India) - - Contents - BY SU­SAN KRAUSS WHIT­BOURNE

You’re about to be­gin a job in­ter­view, and as you’re be­ing in­tro­duced to your po­ten­tial su­per­vi­sor, her name flies com­pletely out of your mind. Or an old class­mate greets you en­thu­si­as­ti­cally on the street, but you can’t place him un­til it’s too late. Sound fa­mil­iar?

Re­cent stud­ies shed light on why such mem­ory blips hap­pen—and how to avoid them. To bet­ter re­tain names and faces, try the fol­low­ing tech­niques:

FO­CUS ON THE EYES Apart from a few wrin­kles around the edges, peo­ple’s eyes don’t change that much as they age. If years pass be­tween meet­ings, you’ll be less thrown off by shifts in hair, cloth­ing, body shape, and height if you check the eyes.

ADD MEAN­ING In­vent strong—even odd­ball—con­nec­tions be­tween a per­son’s name and face. Think of what the name reminds you of (“Tina” might turn into “tea”), and (in your mind) at­tach that as­so­ci­a­tion to the per­son’s face.

PLAN AHEAD Peo­ple are bet­ter at re­mem­ber­ing names when they see them writ­ten down in ad­vance, one study found. While that won’t help for un­ex­pected en­coun­ters, it can be a good strat­egy for classes, in­ter­views, and par­ties with a pub­lic in­vi­ta­tion list.

PRAC­TISE AT HOME Quizzing your­self on celebrity names is a low-risk way to en­hance your face-mem­ory skills. While watch­ing movies or TV shows, work on form­ing name-and-face as­so­ci­a­tions with peo­ple whose feel­ings you couldn’t pos­si­bly hurt.

RE­LAX When you’re stressed, your body’s en­docrine sys­tem re­leases cor­ti­sol, which can erase all sorts of mem­o­ries—in­clud­ing (and per­haps es­pe­cially) the type of mem­ory in­volved in re­call­ing names.

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