LOS ANGELES, CA - Ever call somebody by the wrong name at the wrong time?
Turns out you shouldn't feel too bad. Thankfully, there's a new study published in the journal Memory and Cognition that helps explain why people "misname." And it isn't because your fiancee wishes they were marrying someone else or because your mom doesn't know you're not the family dog.
Instead, researchers found that it happens because of how our brains organize people in social categories. It's as simple as family members' names get switched for family member names and co-workers' names getting switched with other co-worker names.
And yes- that means the dog has hit family status, although interestingly, almost no one in the study was called by a cat's name.
Another smaller reason researcher's found for misnaming people was that it also happened with names that have similar sounds. So naming your kids Sherwin and Sherman is like the perfect storm for never getting it right.
So it has less to do with hidden desires exposed by Freudian slips and more to do with levels of social relationships and the way names are pronounced.
Still, we can't help you if you accidentally say "I love you" to your boss hanging up a phone call. You're on your own with that one.