There’s a reason why politicians sometimes find it hard to talk. Rick Perry’s failure to remember the name of one of the federal agencies he would abolish if elected president, namely the Department of Energy, was most likely an example of a very common phenomenon called "Tip of the Tongue" phenomenon or TOT."
Psychologist Gail Mauner says, "TOT occurs when we know the meaning of the word or words we want to retrieve but are unable to access their sounds. The majority of naturally occurring TOT states are linked to proper names and the likelihood of finding oneself in such a state increases as we get older. "
Often, when we are in a TOT state, we have partial access to the form aspects of a word or phrase–that is, we might be able to say what the first letter is or how many syllables it has but are not able to retrieve the entire word." Mitt Romney tried to help Rick Perry by suggesting that what Perry was trying to retrieve was the term "EPA" or "Environmental Protection Agency."
Mauner thinks that activating the speech sounds for the EPA may have temporarily made it more difficult for Perry to retrieve "Energy." (or did Romney KNOW what he was doing?) "Thus," she says, "Romney’s intended helpfulness might have done more harm than good by temporarily making more available other speech sounds than the ones that Perry was trying to retrieve."
As the Presidential race heats up in the future, we hope you’ll support the candidate who admits that climate change is a real problem, instead of denying it. We’d like to elect someone who’s behind disclosure as well, but we don’t expect that to happen, which is why we’re doing it OURSELVES.
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