Why do we forget names? Forgetting names is one of our memory’s most common failures – but there are ways to make them stick. Our brains don’t have a simple filing system, with separate folders for each kind of information and a folder labelled “Names”. Rather, our minds are associative. They are built out of patterns of interconnected information. When you meet someone for the first time, you learn their name. For your memory, however, it is probably an arbitrary piece of information unconnected to anything else you know and unconnected to all the other things you later learn about them.