"Karen? Molly? Erika?" Drawing a blank on her name? Spend an extra second looking at her face—people who do so are better at remember name...
Drawing a blank on her name? Spend an extra second looking at her face—people who do so are better at remember names, says a study in the journal Psychological Science.
Researchers hooked 40 people up to a helmet that tracked eye movements and showed them random faces and names. While both women and men looked at the eyes, nose, and mouth when viewing a face for the first time, women spent longer scanning the features—and in turn, they were about 12 percent more likely to correctly recall someone’s name than guys.
Researchers believe that the more time you spend studying a face, the more landmarks there are in your memory to remind yourself of who you’re seeing the next time around.
And while the differences weren’t huge—a guys generally recognized five faces out of ten; women could accurately name seven—if it saves you an awkward moment, it’s worth a shot.
Train yourself to do it better by quickly scanning across as much of someone’s face as possible when you meet, says the study’s lead author, Jennifer Heisz, Ph.D. Be sure to look over the arch of their eyebrows and chin—two zones that guys regularly miss. The more you do it, the more it’ll become second nature, and you can kiss awkward run-ins goodbye.
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