names.

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not me sitting with my three daughters

but hired meercat models looking very similar

after i’ve just called each of them by one or more of their sibling’s names once again

since for some reason i thought it was a good idea to name all of them with the same first letter 

(i’m a fan of alliteration)

and with two syllables

and rarely have called them by the correct name on the first try since birth

so they each pretty much answer to all of them. 

According to Quartz Magazine, if you’re in a particularly bad mood, getting called by your sibling’s name might make you feel like the offending parent doesn’t care enough to keep their kids straight. But according to a 2016 study published in the journal Memory and Cognition, your parents might actually mistake you for your siblings because they care about you.

A team of students in Duke University’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience conducted a series of surveys to find out who gets misnamed, who misnames them, and why it happens. Some instances appeared to have been caused by phonetic similarities between names—e.g. you accidentally called your boss “Katherine” (your cousin’s name) instead of “Kathleen.” But the survey results also pointed to strong semantic trends. In other words, family members are often called other family members’ names, friends are often called other friends’ names, and people outside those two categories are often mistaken for other people outside them.

Basically, as the researchers explained, we build semantic networks in our brains where we can group similar information together and recall it easily. Facts about your immediate family members, for example, may be stored in one semantic network; while details about friends might go in another one. In your mom’s mind, then, your and your sister’s names are essentially in the same basket, and your mom might unwittingly grab your sister’s when she meant to grab yours. What the researchers argue is that it’s a little less about the mistake and more about the basket: Parents love their kids, so they put you all in the same top-tier basket.

The results also suggest that some family member baskets aren’t just reserved for humans. A staggering 41 of the 42 pet-related misnaming incidents involved calling pets by family members’ names or vice versa, rather than mixing up two pets’ names. And most of those incidents involved dogs, specifically.

“Given the scarcity of misnaming episodes involving the names of family pets other than dogs, our data suggest that dogs may be a central part of (at least some) families … as human-like members, whereas cats and other pets, although they may be part of the family, are not categorized as human-like,” the authors wrote in the study.

If you’re about to get defensive on behalf of your cat, whom you very much consider a human-like part of your family, keep in mind that 42 is a small sample size. And the whole study only included about 1700 participants, who were all reporting misnaming episodes remembered from their past—leaving plenty of room for human error. In short, as is so often the case with scientific studies, more research is needed. That said, try not to take it personally if your dad mistakes you for the dog.

 

“i cannot tell what the dickens his name is.”

-william shakespeare

Story credits: Quartz Magazine -By Samantha A. Deffler, Christin M. Ogle, Cassidy Fox, and David C. Rubin

Current and former members of the Noetics Laboratory at Duke University

nine.

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From WordPress:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!

You registered on WordPress.com 9 years ago.

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

9!

thanks to all who have

read, commented, liked, connected, responded,

met with me, supported, encouraged, inspired,

shared, laughed, cried, smiled, followed, or visited

over the last 9 years

i appreciate every gesture.

“i feel like i’m on cloud nine right now.” – nik wallenda 

the magic of books.

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“i believe in the magic of books.

i believe that during certain periods in our lives we are drawn to particular books-

whether it’s strolling down the aisles of a bookshop

with no idea whatsoever of what it is that we to want read

and suddenly finding the most perfect, most wonderfully suitable book staring us right in the face.

unblinking.

or a chance meeting with a stranger or friend

who recommends a book we would never ordinarily reach for.

books have the ability to find their own way into our lives. “

-cecelia ahern

 

has this happened to you?

image credit: min heo

variety is the sugar of life.

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these were one of the greatest food creations of my childhood

with the introduction of the mini-box variety packs

came great excitement

along with

new reasons to battle with siblings

how to divide the number of boxes evenly

who gets to pick first

did i open it correctly on the perforated lines 

kellogs, general mills, or post packs

who gets stuck with

the ‘old boring people’s cereal boxes’

 such unparalleled joy

sprung from eating it right out of the side of the box

pouring your milk on this sugary delight

turning it into a personal bowl

i thought i could never be happier.

 

“do you know what breakfast cereal is made of?

it’s made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!”

-roald dahl

tulips.

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*”tulips are the only flowers that continue to grow, up to an inch or more, after they’re cut.”

-sarah jio

 

i find it fascinating that they refuse to surrender so easily

even defiantly growing longer 

and,

there’s science.

 

*Tulip stems do continue to lengthen once they’re snipped. That’s because the cells in their stems are particularly responsive to the plant hormone auxin, which causes them to elongate. Auxin also influences phototropism — the tendency of plants to grow toward light. – google

 

art credit: watercolor by vadim