Do People’s Names Really Matter?
Do you have many friends and acquaintances whose names seem to fit them exactly?
And do you know others that wish they’d be given a different name?
Do some people’s names have a special click for you whilst others turn you off?
Recent Research Suggests That Names Are Important
People walk around with stereotypes in their heads that can influence all sorts of decisions, yet don’t even realize it, says psychologist Richard Wiseman, who conducted a recent research into the meaning of names.
The research suggests that we have strong perceptions about first names and associate them with success, luck and attractiveness.
And our perceptions clearly have very real consequences in our everyday life.
Richard Wiseman (a great name?) asked more than 6,000 people about their perceptions of the most popular first names in the UK over the past decade, along with those in recent years.
Which Names Came Out Tops?
Elizabeth and James were considered the most successful sounding first names.
Lucy and Jack the luckiest.
And Sophie and Ryan the most attractive.
Names Do Have An Impact
"A name certainly plays more of a part than we think".
"While many factors influence how we view a name, from liking a successful actor to disliking your boss, these perceptions can have a very real impact".
"Past research has shown that such perceptions can become self-fulfilling prophesies, with teachers giving higher marks to children with attractive names and employers being more likely to promote those who sound successful".
says Dr Wiseman.
Name Styles And Perceptions
Do you identify with the following Baker variations?
Simplest and least formal because it suggests a no frills attitude and has a kind of plain folks appeal.
John William Baker
Says the person wants to be noticed.
Suggests having nothing to hide.
John W. Baker
Suggests maturity and a solid, conservative personality.
The middle initial implies a fullness and completeness without the flamboyance of using the middle name in full.
It creates a sense of mystery, especially in women.
It’s a style used by almost half of the men in the United States and by many women too.
J. W. Baker
A favorite of the British and suggests being reserved and standoffish.
Creates a sense of mystery and offers no hints about gender.
J. William Baker
Suggests high self-opinion and vanity, and especially when the middle name is uncommon.
Implies a feeling of insignificance.
Creates confusion and gender ambiguity.
I always used Michael P. Redbourn