7 Ways Your Name Has Made You The Person You are Today

    July 3, 2012 at 6:30 am

    1. Sexual Conquests

    You got game, no doubt about it. Regularly bedding down more than your fair share, you would easily best all your friends in the “getting some” department if you were crass enough to be keeping some kind of sexual conquest tally sheet, which you probably are if you’re reading this site.

    But what exactly is the secret to all your booty tapping success?  Is it your ridiculous good looks?  Sparkling wit? Perhaps you owe it all to that dog eared copy of The Game and your faithful adherence to its guidelines? Nope. You probably just have a ton of cash. But if it’s not that, it’s probably just your name.

    While your mastery of negging and peacocking most certainly deserves some of the credit (no it doesn’t), according to a recent online dating study, there are certain trends that correlate between getting tail and your given name.

    The top male names for getting some were Chris, Charles, Matt, Dennis and Luke. On the other end of the spectrum; Edward, Dylan, Jason and Frank were more likely to spend the night solo.

    2. Last in Line, First to Grab a Deal

    For the Zuckermans and Youngs out there-it’s not all doom and gloom for those coming near last in the surname race. Researchers have found that people whose last names begin with letters lower down the alphabet are the quickest to react to limited offers of goods or tickets.

    “For years, simply because of your name, you’ve received inequitable treatment,” says Kurt Carlson, an assistant professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and a co-author of the paper, which is to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. “So when you get to exercise control, you seize on opportunity. It’s a coping strategy, and over time it becomes a natural way to respond.”

    However, this is tempered with some bad news – your tendency to jump on sweet deals early may lead to impulse shopping. But so does owning a credit card, and you probably have one of those. So don’t change your name just yet. Unless it’s something stupid, obviously.

    3. A Boy Named Sue or Nancy or Kelly

    Maybe your parents were huge Johnny Cash fans or perhaps they thought you being teased relentlessly throughout life would be a funny joke to play.  Whatever the reason, if you are a boy with a girly name like Sue or Kelly, you may not be any tougher, but according to studies, you probably misbehaved more than the Davids and Stevens in your class.

    On the flip side, the same study found that females with masculine sounding names were more likely to pursue math and science to humanity studies.

    4. Your Misspelled Name Spells Trouble for You

    Sorry Keven and Aymee…

    Your parents’ lame attempt to make you a special snowflake by making your name a pain in the ass to spell was not only misguided, it was detrimental to your future.

    Unconventionally spelled names, as compared with conventionally spelled names, connoted lower levels of success, morality, popularity, warmth and cheerfulness to raters of both sexes. Unconventionally spelled male names were judged as less masculine than conventionally spelled male names, with the understanding that anyone named Marion is a woman, no matter how you spell it. Unconventionally spelled female names were judged as more masculine (less feminine) than their conventionally spelled counterparts. If your name is Kym, rest assured, most people figure you’re a “womyn”. All findings consistently showed, therefore, that persons with unconventionally spelled names were thought to have less desirable characteristics than were those with conventionally spelled names.

    5. Where You Live, What You Do for a Living, Your Grades

    Dennis the Dentist marries Deborah and lives in Denver. According to the name letter effect (NLE), just the first letter of your name can influence your preference for places, activities, and people. The theory maintains that people like the letters in their own names (particularly their initials) better than other letters of the alphabet.

    Why Frankie is failing. The “name-letter effect” can have some negative consequences.  Students with names starting with letters associated with poor performance (C’s and D’s), actually performed worse than students with names starting with A or B, this, according to the researchers, is because students with C and D names have less aversion to the letters themselves.

    The name-letter effect is caused by what Pelham calls ‘implicit egotism’. In other words, we’re all unconsciously attracted to things that remind us of ourselves – including the letters in our names. “If you notice even some fragment of your name, it catches your attention and creates a positive association for you,” says Pelham.

    6. Being a Junior Can Make You Successful or Crazy

    Being named after dear old dad, according to science, this honor can be a blessing or a curse.  Many super successful people are juniors. The first three men to set foot on the moon were juniors.  However, psychologists point out that a parent strongly motivated to give his offspring the same name may be a self-serving, narcissistic jerk with overbearing tendencies.  This may lead to raising super achievers or neurotic, stressed out individuals.  Robert Plank (1971) found that JRs were twice as frequent among a list of neuro-psychiatric patients at a Veterans hospital. A second study showed that applicants for outpatient psychiatric care were 3 times as likely to be a junior.

    7. Alphabetical Discrimination: Surnames and Success

    You’ve just received a Nobel Prize and are getting around to thanking your family, colleagues and a higher power (the Internet, of course) for all the help they’ve given you on your path to glory and success.  It’s great to acknowledge others that aided you on your rise to the top, but you might have to thank your last name as well – or more specifically, that the first letter of your last name comes pretty close to the top when alphabetizing.

    Alphabetical discrimination – that’s right, people being oppressed or lauded for where their surname lines up in the alphabet. After analyzing surnames of academics working in economics departments at US universities, researchers found that those with initials early in the alphabet were more likely to be in the best-rated departments, to become fellows of the Econometric Society and even to win a Nobel Prize.

    Not just limited to those in academia, a separate follow up survey showed that the surname effect was applicable to all types of careers and that alphabetical discrimination was a factor in the workplace. So, consider your worst suspicions confirmed. That guy in accounting whose last name is “something that starts with a B” really is the asshole you suspect him to be.


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