Science says that being forgetful is a sign you’re unusually intelligent

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Do you ever forget your new coworker’s name? Or do you ever go to the store and then forget to buy the very thing you went to buy in the first place?

If it happens often, you might be concerned that something’s not quite right.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!

Researchers have published a new study showing that people who are forgetful might actually be smarter than their friends with better memories.

The University of Toronto in Canada has discovered that intelligence has nothing to do with how much someone can remember.

Usually, we think that people who can remember anything from multiplication tables to their relatives’s birthdays are smart, but being forgetful actually has practical applications.

Flickr/Demsick

It turns out that in many cases, having a solid grasp of the big picture is better for both your brain and your safety than retaining all the details.

In fact, the part of the brain that stores memories also writes important new memories over older unimportant ones.

WikimediaCommons/Grey

Remembering every little detail isn’t what makes us smart, reports CNN.

It’s about keeping what’s important front and center, while letting go of the rest.

This might be easier to understand if we look at the example of someone who remembers a person’s face but not their name.

Pixabay/Congerdesign

Certainly, it might be embarrassing, but if you look at it from another angle, it could actually be better.

Imagine you’re a lion on the savannah who has to keep an eye on your environment to survive. Knowing what’s a threat and what’s harmless is more important than remembering what everything in your environment is called.

But the cleverness of the forgetful brain doesn’t end there. It also helps us sort out old memories that we no longer need, so we have room to add new, more important ones.

MaxPixel

Although it’s better to remember every detail and also keep a grasp on the big picture, fewer and fewer people are able to do it.

When the answer to almost everything question is just a click away, there’s not really an incentive to memorize all the names of the American presidents, for example.

However, this study doesn’t mean you should forget everything all the time. But if you forget to buy milk, for example, remember it’s just your brain doing its job!

Wikimedia Commons/Bobjgalindo

Make sense?

Please share this article with your forgetful friends on Facebook. Hopefully, they’ll remember to read it and they won’t feel stupid the next time they forget something!

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