The third Monday of February, which many Americans know as Presidents’ Day, is supposed to be a time to remember George Washington’s Feb. 22 birthday. And few would argue that the first U.S. president doesn’t deserve to be remembered; likewise for Abraham Lincoln, whose Feb. 12 birthday is also remembered by many on the same day.
But, while Presidents’ Day may be well and good in terms of historical recognition, Washington and Lincoln hardly need a special day to stay uppermost in Americans’ memories.
For other presidents, the matter of memorability is quite a different story, two recent studies have shown.
For a 2014 study published the journal Science, psychology researchers Henry L. Roediger and K. Andrew DeSoto had nearly 500 adults ages 18-64 write down the names of as many presidents as they could remember in five minutes, and the order in which they served, on a blank sheet of paper. (You can take a similar quiz, with pictures of the presidents, on TIME.com.)
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