Your name affects the judgment of others about you


04/06/2011

Alexander will get high marks in the classroom, but Amber - no. That, at least, argue their peers. These are the results of a new small study of values encoded in the names of people.

"The name you give your child is a kind of proxy for a whole bunch of things in our culture," - said researcher John Waggoner (John Waggoner) from the University of Pennsylvania in the Bloomberg news agency LiveScience. Names associated with many life choices, including the choice of profession and man’s relation to charity. Previous studies have shown that the names that people call their children, affect the level of their socio-economic status and education. Waggoner and his colleagues are interested in, whether the names of the people affected by the judgment of others about them. The researchers invited a group of 89 undergraduates (half of whom were future teachers) to try to guess on a scale from 1 ("not very successful") to 10 ("very successful") as a student with a particular name will cope with their studies.

Participants were more likely to judgment that students with lower levels of pre-school education, and socioeconomic status are less motivated people with low academic success, compared with the owners of the names that have a high status. "The future teachers felt that Cody will reach less successful in school than Benjamin and Samuel" - said Waggoner. "The longer your name, the more people expect from you success." The lowest point on the scale reached the names Travis - 5.55 balls, and Amber - 5.74 of the ball. The uppermost elevations reached names such as Katherine - 7.42 Ball and Samuel - 7.20 of the ball. The gap of 2 points between the names, ranks the top and the lowest mark, equivalent to 20 percent of the differences in the assumption of success in their studies at the university.

Study while lacking information about how it is related to these university students’ success, however, other studies have linked low levels of home care or pre-school education and socioeconomic status with lower success in education. It often happens that certain names are characteristic of different types of educational institutions. "Statistically, the name Catherine is more common in private schools; Lorena - in a public university and Brown - in college," - said the agency also Waggoner LiveScience. "Sierra and Dakota did not learn in college." In the experiment, there were some discrepancies, as noted by Waggoner. The participants of the analysis did not show any difference when evaluating such names, such as Robert and Benjamin. However, the name of Robert associated with low levels of education and household socioeconomic status of the individual, whereas the name Benjamin - on the contrary associated with high socioeconomic status.

Waggoner presented his research findings at the May 26 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science.

Original: LiveScience Translation: M. Potter


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