Lethologica: what happens when a word is on the tip of the tongue
The tip-of-the-tongue, or lethologica, is a common phenomenon where memories seem to be momentarily inaccessible.
Bilingual people seem to experience more tip-of-the-tongue moments in their less dominant language. If you find yourself repeatedly struggling to recall a specific word, your memory may not be adequately stored.
The limits of our memory serve us well in many respects.
Limited memories are useful trade-off to allow us to function and survive. We have thousands of memories, for example, of tables. If we recall all the events related to a table, it will create mass confusion with data overload.
Flawed memories may also help us to cope with our past and navigate our future. It may give us more confidence in our past decisions or make us remember happier events.
Selective Activation And Reconstructive Anchoring (SARA): Only remembering the information partially and using the same as a memory anchor to reactivate the (altered) memory when new information arrives.
Reconstruction After Feedback (RAFT): Taking ‘the best’ approach involves using one’s influence and exposure about a particular knowledge and taking the best answer based on our reconstruction of information, and creating a biased version of the same.
Causal Model Theory (CMT): Using a ‘cause reasoning’ for explaining the reality of an event that is different from one’s expectations, mainly by retrieving selective memories.