Names are not merely a sum of letters and the subsequent sounds used to identify us. In fact, there’s a great deal of influential power that comes attached to a name. Not only do they sculpt your personality, but they also sculpt others people’s perceptions and ultimately, your future!
Before you dismiss this as nothing more than mythical nonsense, you should know that scientific research supports this curious notion. Names have actually been seen to have a significant influence on how successful our lives become.
Without further adieu, here are 10 unbelievable findings from various worldwide studies.
1. Common names are more likely to get hired than unique ones.
A study conducted by Marquette University found that if your name is common, it could increase your chances of being hired, whereas those with unique names are often less likely to be chosen by interviewers.
2. Easy-to-pronounce names gravitate towards higher-status positions.
A study conducted by New York University discovered that easy-to-pronounce names are more likely to get a favor from others. Often, this eventually leads to them gaining higher statuses in society.
According to psychologist Adam Alter (also a great example of an easy-to-pronounce name), if information can be more easily assimilated by the brain, we are more likely to like something or someone.
3. Last names nearer the start of the alphabet may be more likely to get into good schools.
Research conducted in the Czech Republic uncovered a controversial pattern. Students whose last name were closer to the top of the alphabet had more chances of getting admission in a school, whereas last names that were lower in the alphabet did not fare as well!
4. Having middle initials makes you appear smarter and more capable.
If your name contains a middle initial such as “Sophie N. Turner,” you will often be considered more intelligent and capable. This fact was established by research published in European Journal of Social Psychology. When students were told to grade papers written by author names, those with middle initials scored higher than those without. In actual fact, the one with the most initials secured the highest marks!
5. First names nearer the end of the alphabet are more likely to be impulsive shoppers.
Almost unbelievably, one particular study found that people with names like “Zelda” or “Yasmin” are more likely to be addicted to shopping! They were seen to be more easily persuaded by promotional offers and marketing strategies leading to increased shopping habits.
It’s believed that having spent most of your school years at the end of the calling register, they are more keen to quickly jump good offers as soon as they get the chance. However, these overzealous spending tendencies could certainly be detrimental to success.
6. Last names with royal or noble associations can help you reach higher-status positions.
A European study stumbled upon the fact noble names naturally found their way to higher managerial positions. This research, based in Germany, found last names such as “Kaiser” (emperor) and “Konig” (king) were more likely to occupy the higher ranks than any others.
This phenomenon could be related to associative reasoning; our minds link previous knowledge and emotions to similar words.
7. Females with gender-neutral names may go further with certain careers.
It’s a fact of life that many career fields are highly gender dominated. Engineering and Law are some of the biggest examples of male-dominated fields. Yet as a female with these fields, one study found that having a gender-neutral name may give you an edge.
Specifically, it was seen that females with more masculine names such as “Leigh” and “Harper” were often able to go further in their law careers.
8. We feel enticed to work with companies who share our initials with their name.
A study from Ghent University found we are more likely to work in companies with names that share our own initials. For example, Lily Harper could be very inclined to work for Lifehack! This behavior can be related to the fact that we are attracted to familiarity, especially if it’s similar to our name.
9. Men who use shorter first names are more common in CEO positions.
During a study conducted by the social media platform LinkedIn, more than 100 million profiles of their users were analyzed. It was found a majority men in CEO positions went by their shorter names such as “Bob” or “Tim.” It’s believed that going by their nicknames allows them to project an approachable friendliness.
10. Females with full names are more likely to be found at the top.
During the very same study, LinkedIn also discovered that the opposite was true for female CEOs. Using their full names, such as Carolyn or Deborah, helps them to exude a more professional image and to reach higher positions.