06/21/2011 01:36 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How To Remember Names (VIDEO)

It is possible to improve our memory for people's names, according to Cynthia Green, Ph.D., psychologist and author of "Total Memory Workout."

In an interview with CNN's Stacey Tisdale for howdini.com, Dr. Green outlined the three main reasons why we tend to forget names.

"First of all, we're not always paying attention to it," she observed. Instead, we might be thinking about whether this person is an important contact -- or even simply admiring something he or she is wearing.

Additionally, there are situational variables that may make it difficult for us to focus, such as alcohol, lack of sleep, anxiety or ambient noise.

Finally, "we don't practice the names once we get them," she explained. "If you think back to school, when you had to learn something -- and after all, learning is what we really need to do -- when we get that name, if we're going to have it later on, you practice."

So how do we overcome these obstacles to better remember names? Dr. Green offers a simple, five-step strategy that anyone can use.