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11 Surprising Ways Your Name Affects Your Success

What’s in your name? Your future. Research has shown that your name can significantly impact your life, from your hiring ability to your spending habits. Below are some surprising results from our research. 

People will be more inclined to like you if your name is simple to pronounce

A New York University study found that people who are easier to pronounce have higher-status jobs. Adam Alter, one of the psychologists, explained to Wired that “when we can process information more easily, it’s easier for us to understand it, we like it more.

Alter found that companies with simple names and simpler ticker symbols performed better on the stock market in further research. 

You are more likely to get hired if your name is well-known

The Marquette University researchers found evidence that less unique names were more popular. Common names were more likely than those with rare or unusual names to be hired. This means that the James’s and Maryse, Johns, Johns, or Patricia’s of the world have good luck. 

Juvenile delinquency is often associated with uncommon names

A 2009 study by Shippensburg University found a strong correlation between juvenile criminal behavior and one’s popularity.

Research showed that young people with unusual names were more likely than others to commit criminal acts, regardless of race. These findings don’t prove that unusual names are responsible for the behavior; they simply show a link. 

The researchers have some theories regarding their findings. In a statement by the journal’s editor, they wrote that adolescents with unpopular names might be more likely to commit crimes because they are treated differently from their peers.

You are more likely to be hired if your name is white

One Study found that candidates with white names, like Greg Baker and Emily Walsh, received nearly half the number of callbacks as candidates with black names, such as Jamal Jones and Lakisha Washington.

This is the same thing that works for reborn baby nursery names in Germany. Research shows that a white-sounding name can be as valuable as eight years of work experience. 

You may be able to get into a school that is more suited for your last name if it’s closer to the beginning alphabet

Researchers examined the relationship between students’ last names in the alphabet and admission to competitive schools. 

Researchers found that students with lower last names scored higher overall on tests. However, students who applied to universities were less likely to be accepted. 

Your likelihood of impulse spending is higher if your last name is near the end

One study suggests that people with last names like Yardley or Zafar are more likely to be targeted by promotional strategies such as limited-time deals.

According to the authors, spending your childhood near the end of the roll-call may cause you to want to grab offers before they are gone. 

People will think you are smarter and more competent if your middle initial is used

Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that middle initials increase people’s perceptions of intellectual ability and performance.

Students were asked to rate essays with four different authors in a study. The authors with a middle name received the highest marks. David F.P.R. also got top marks. Clark received the highest reviews. 

It is more likely that you will work for a company with your initials

We identify with our names, so we choose similar things. A Ghent University study found that people are more inclined to work in companies with their initials. Brian Ingeborg, for example, might work at Business Insider. People are more likely to work for companies with similar names than their initials the rarer they are. 

Your name should sound noble, so you’re more likely to be in a high-ranking job

Researchers conducted a European study to examine German names and ranks within businesses. Last names like Kaiser (“emperor”) and König (“king”) tended to be in higher managerial positions than those that refer to common occupations such as Koch (“cook”) and Bauer (“farmer”), respectively.

This could be due to associative thinking, a psychological theory describing a way of thinking where people automatically link emotions with previous knowledge using similar words or phrases. 

You could be more likely to get suspended if you’re a boy with a female name

David Folio, a University of Florida economist, studied a large Florida district in 2005. He found that boys whose names are most often given to girls were more likely to misbehave in middle school and disrupt their peers. Their behavioral problems were also linked to higher test scores and disciplinary problems. 

You may have a higher chance of succeeding in certain fields if you are a woman who is not gender-neutral

According to The Atlantic, women with gender-neutral names might be more successful in male-dominated fields like engineering and law. One study was found that women with masculine names like Jan, Cameron, and Leslie were more likely to succeed in legal careers.