The sweet reason parents always get their kids' names mixed up

Must See 08/03/2019

Whether it's memories of your parents running through a never-ending list of names before they get to yours, or you're the culprit doing it to your own kids, we've all been there.

As a kid, you think it's because your parent thinks you're less important, or some other silly reason, and when you're a parent you think it's just because you're too distracted and busy. 

Well it turns out there's a scientific reason behind it, and it's actually much sweeter than we think.

According to a review in Memory and Cognition that studied the phenomenon of misnaming, misnaming tends to happen with people you have an equally close relationship with.

1700 people participated across five different studies, with the majority of misnamings coming from Mums - and all the names were of people they loved.

"Overall, the misnaming of familiar individuals is driven by the relationship between the misnamer, misnamed, and named," the study states.

Obviously phonetic similarity plays a role as well, when names sound similar, but the main reason behind misnaming was how our brains organise information. Our brain files info into related groups then stores it away. This organisation system is known as the semantic network, and it keeps the names of your loved ones in the same place. so it makes sense that when you go to grab one, you may go through all of them. 

So calling your loved ones by the wrong name actually just shows how much you love them! How sweet.