P&N's Samantha Deffler, Cassidy Fox, Christin Ogle, and David Rubin of the Noetics Lab explored why familiar individuals may call each other by the wrong name. For example, why does your mom call you your sister's name? They found that people tended to misname members of the same group - family members using the (wrong) name of other family members, and friends misnaming a friend with another friends name. They even found evidence that dogs are considered a part of the family... people called their family members by the dog's name (but not the cat's name).
Read about their research in several major news outlets:
Check out the full text of the research in Duke Space, the university's online repository of open-access research: