A majority of people do not choose their names. A lot do not even like their names. But names are an integral aspect of our identity. As we may or may not realize they are with us everywhere we travel. Incredibly research suggests that our names may not only follow us, but may can also guide us, influencing our decisions in the direction of names that resemble people, places, and objects.
In a series of research using census data as well as different public documents, the researchers discovered that individuals were more likely to relocate to states and pursue jobs that resembled their own. For instance Denise’s are more likely be dental practitioners rather than Walters and Jerrys were, and Georgians are more likely migrate in the direction of Georgia than one would expect by the chance. These patterns may reveal a phenomenon known as implicit egotism. This is our tendency to create positive associations with everything that makes us think of ourselves.
Since the publication of these research studies, researchers have discovered many other interesting ways in which names can influence decisions. Here are six of them:
1. Romantic partners
Through marriage records of several U.S. states, researchers found that individuals were significantly most likely to be married to someone with a last name was similar or like their own. They believed that this trend could not be a reflection of the preference of partners with similar ethnicity, who tend to have a common last name because the same findings were found when conducting studies within certain ethnic groups. In another study, people looked at the online profile of the woman whose name was a combination of letters and their own and rated it more positive than those who viewed the profile of a similar profile that had no resemblance to there reborn baby nursery names.
2. Contributions to politics
In the 2000 presidential election research showed that those who’s names started with the letter B had a higher likelihood to donate towards that Bush campaign, while those starting with G were more likely to donate to Gore. It could be different this year, however as we’re more used to hearing the candidates’ initial names. If you’re Dennis who is a dentist Donald could have an advantage over Ted.
Although there is no evidence that suggests that people are drawn to objects that are similar to their names. However, they are likely to prefer objects that are based on brands with names. A study showed that respondents had a higher likelihood to choose brands that contained the initial three initials of their names. (followed with the word “stem”) “oki “)–Jonathans tended to prefer “Jonoki” over “Elioki,” while Elizabeths revealed the opposite pattern. (Researchers have observed that marketers can profit from this tendency by targeting ads with common names.)
4. Work-related places of employment
In addition to attracting similar-named customers, businesses can be able to attract similar-named (or at the very least, similarly-initiated) employees. One study showed that firms were disproportionately populated by employees whose last names begin with the same letter as the company’s name.
This can be seen on the hiring and also at the candidate level. The people who hire candidates may be influenced by their company and consequently feel more favorable toward people whose names are similar to the name of their company.
5. Failure and success
Are names so powerful that they can lead people to undesirable outcomes simply because the outcomes are similar to their names? Potentially. One study found that players of baseball with names whose initials or last names started with K (which means strike-out) are more likely be struck out in comparison to other players.
In another study, students whose first or last names started with B or A had higher GPAs than the ones whose names started in C or D. Participants also were able to solve fewer anagrams if they were awarded a consolation prize with their initials (e.g., “Prize E” for Edward) rather than in the absence of.
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6. Charitable donations
Names also influence generosity. One study revealed that people who shared their initials with the name of a hurricane (e.g., K for Katrina) were more likely than other individuals to make donations to relief efforts for disasters.
The findings suggest that the names used to hurricanes can affect the amount of donations that are received Names that begin with commonly used letters may attract more support overall, whereas names that begin with less popular letters might not meet their potential to raise funds.
It’s important to remember that these patterns are based on an aggregate level , and cannot be used to predict an individual’s behaviour. For instance, simply because you’re named Dennis does not mean that you’re going to be a dentist or decide to support Donald.
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Many factors impact our most important decisions in life and the impact of your name could be minimal when compared to other factors. If you’re confronted with a choice where choices are fairly equal on other levels, then name-similarity could tip the balance.