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Poor first names could lead to feeling dumber, lonelier

By Andrew Jones
Saturday, January 7, 2012 17:14 EDT
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A photo of a baby. Image via Flickr user Eric Fleming.
 
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Future parents may want to be careful naming their children after a new study revealed a poor first name could have major consequences.

According to research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, data from 12,000 adults revealed that an unfortunate name could make a person feel lonelier and less intelligent.

Scientists determined the results by using two different methods. One included sending out 47,000 emails to German online daters without photos, while the other method gave people the same location and age but different names to determine who they wanted to date.

Names such as Charlotte or Alexander, carrying the highest valence – or intrinsic attractiveness – received 102 percent more pages views than those with the lowest valence such as Kevin or Mandy.

The two experiments on Europe’s dating website revealed that among the 12,000 people tested, a majority would rather be single than with a poorly named lover.

Other studies revealed that a lackluster first name could not only lead to lower self-esteem, but also contribute to being less educated and more prone to consider smoking.

“These things can’t only be triggered by having a good or bad name, but having a good or bad name does have a small influence,” said the study’s co-author Wiebke Neberich. “It’s remarkable that just a name can influence how your social environment reacts to you, and how this reaction can influence your life.”

[Photo credit: Eric Fleming]

(H/T NY Daily News)

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
 
 
 
 
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