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  • What’s in a name? And can our names really affect our outcomes in life?

  • Hey guys, Tara here for Dnews - and have you ever noticed how we tend to associate certain

  • names with personalities? I’m reminded a 30 Rock quote, where Alec Baldwin’s character

  • points out "There will never be a president Ashton.” Which seems probable - but is there

  • any science behind that? And can our names really predict our futures?

  • It’s an interesting question - and there have been a lot of studies over the years,

  • trying to figure out how our names affect our lives.

  • A recent one, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, looked at over

  • 300 pairs of twins in China, and found that not only is liking your own name predictive

  • of your well-being, it’s also determined in large part, by your genetic and environmental

  • background.

  • Another study, published in 2005, found that boys who were given girl’s names, were more

  • likely to have behavioral problems, and as a result - generally do poorer in school.

  • There have also been a bevy of studies examining the racial aspects of naming. A 2004 study

  • in The American Economic Review, found that job applicants with white-sounding names,

  • as opposed to characteristically black names - received 50% more callbacks for interviews

  • - even if their qualifications were the same. So often times, it’s more about the stereotypes

  • of other people, than it is about your actual name.

  • There was another study in 2003 on the topic of racial naming conventions, which argued

  • that even if stereotypes like that do affect job callbacks - it’s unlikely they would

  • make a difference beyond the interview stage, since our perceptions of people’s names

  • don’t matter as much, once weve personally met them.

  • Racial stereotypes aside, though - how does all of this work? I mean, it’s our parents

  • who name us, after all - and history shows that parents tend to name their kids after

  • people they like. But is it really just about preference, or is there some social status

  • at play?

  • According to social psychologist Martin Skinner, "The real consequence is not in the actual

  • name itself, but in the intentions behind it.” He says that "Names usually reflect

  • parental aspirations, so someone who wants their child to be taken seriously will give

  • them a name that has weight and is not frivolous - whatever class they are."

  • So in a sense, our names reveal more about our parents, than they do about us.

  • Here’s a perfect example. There was a series of studies done in the mid 1900s, that found

  • that kids with unusual or uncommon first names were more likely to experience mental illness,

  • and in particular - psychosis and neurosis.

  • Now if were operating under the assumption that those names are a reflection of the psychological

  • state of their parents, then it’s likely that the parents chose those names, as a way

  • of unconsciously signaling that their kids are peculiar and perhaps even deserving of

  • ridicule. If that is the case, then it’s equally as likely that those parents sent

  • their kids other negative messages over the years - unconscious or not - that couldve

  • led to them developing a mental illness.

  • And to look at it from another angle, it’s also entirely possible that the parents who

  • gave their kids unusual names, also experienced similar illnesses, which were then passed

  • down to their kids through their genes.

  • Whatever the case may be - it’s generally agreed that the outcome your name has on your

  • success levels is pretty negligible. In the long run, your own personal efforts can easily

  • outweigh the impact of your name.

  • What do you guys think? Do you feel like your name has contributed to your personality?

  • Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and as always - thank you guys for

  • watching!

What’s in a name? And can our names really affect our outcomes in life?

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你的名字對你有什麼影響? (What Does Your Name Say About You?)

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    林曉玉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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