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Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon

Page history last edited by Melissa Thompson 13 years, 5 months ago


Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon






What is Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon?


Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is the subjective feeling that people have of being confident that they know the target word for which they are searching, yet they cannot recall this word. They are somewhat able to recall words of similar sounds and meaning, but never the actual word they are seeking.  TOT is an experience with memory recollection involving difficulty retrieving a well-known word or familiar name.  Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is one kind of metacognition.  Metacognition is the knowledge and thoughts about one's own cognitive processess, as well as control of those cognitive processes.  People know enough about their memory to know when this phenomenon is present.   

Another term related to this phenomenon is the feeling of knowing, which is the prediction about whether you could correctly recognize the correct answer to a question.  This effect is more conscious meaning one thoughtfully assesses whether one could recognize the answer if one was given several options.





How does this phenomenon happen?


The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is usually an involuntary effect. Most people have experienced this phenomenon many times in their life. The most common reason for why this phenomenon occurs is a retrieval process gone awry. When one experiences this phenomenon it appears that one is having a breakdown in an intermediate stage of lexical retrieval. Lexical retrieval is a search for a desired word in a human's memory storage.



Related Links


1.  Does age affect tip-of-the-tongue state?  ---This article gives a basic description of TOT phenomenon and talk about the TOT age affects.


2. Blocked Memories ---This article tells how and why TOT phenomenon happens.


3. An Explanation ---This article gives an explanation of TOT and talks about TOT in other countries.


4. What is that Egyptian bug? ---This is a video of a research report on TOT, dealing with when you become stuck on a word you are better off giving up!


5.  Split Words --- This is a website where you can play a game to work your cognitive functions.


6.  Research Article --- A research article on TOT dealing with positive and negative TOT's.


7. Has this ever happened to you? --- A video where people are caught in the act of TOT.


8. Gold mine or can of worms? --- A book review of the TOT states and their significance.


9. Feeling of knowing --- A research study of the feeling of knowing phenomenon in amnesic patients.


10. The Experience --- An overview of TOT Phenomenon. Complete with a definition, research and an explanation.


This page was created by Melissa Thompson.

 Disclaimer: To my knowledge, all images, text and links are public material, if not please email me at melissakaythompson@gmail.com and I will remove them immediately.

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