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2011 Archives

SMU professor studies mental lapses like Perry’s


The following ran in the Nov. 16, 2011, edition of the Dallas Morning News. Psychologist Alan Brown provided expertise for this story.

November 18, 2011

By Steve Blow

Now that the politics of Rick Perry’s brain freeze have been thoroughly analyzed, let’s look at the psychology of it.

  We happen to have an authority on the subject in our own backyard. In fact, Southern Methodist University psychology professor Alan Brown has just written an entire book on this all-too-familiar phenomenon.

The Tip of the Tongue State, his academic treatise is called.

 Researchers refer to the mental lapses as TOTs. But for now, a new name has taken hold — “a Perry moment.”...

We seem to blank out worst when a similar word blocks the way. “Some researchers have called them ‘ugly stepsister words,’” Brown said. “They keep the prince from finding Cinderella.”...


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