Eli5: Why do you sometimes forget/misjudge everyday mundane things?



For Example, I use a software application almost everyday for my job. It requires me to type in the password, its a very easy password to remember. I will randomly have a moment every once in a while where I completely forget the password and have to look it up. Or sometimes just try to shut my mind off and hope muscle memory figures it out.


Why is that? What is happening?

I would assume its a similar effect to when you look at a word you write very frequently and one day it suddenly looks like its misspelled even though its not.

In: Other

So this is actually a pretty well documented phenomenon, it even has a name: Wordnesia. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a good way to reproduce it in a lab setting because it happens so randomly, so studying it is difficult and experts can really only guess.

A possible explanation: Usually reading and writing these sorts of words is automated, and when you try to do it manually you find that the path you usually use to get to that information hasn’t been documented for the manual part of your brain to use. You can’t switch from manual to automated on command, so now you’re stuck not knowing where to look for the information in your brain library. The info is still there, you just don’t know where right now.