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Do Names Affect Your Childhood?
When it comes to naming a child, parents usually follow one of two approaches. They go for traditional and well-known names, or they get creative and name their children after places, things, or famous people. Did you know that both have their advantages and disadvantages, which cannot only impact their childhood but also the career path they follow?
If you are unsure about what to name your child, this article discusses several studies that examined the link between a person’s name and social circumstances. According to The Guardian, one in five mothers report that they regret the name that they choose for their child. Before you add a name to your child’s birth certificate, you should see how it can affect their education, criminal records, and careers.
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People with Easy-to-Pronounce Names Get More Respect
A 2011 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology titled “The name-pronunciation effect: Why people like Mr. Smith more than Mr. Colquhoun” by Simon M. Laham, Peter Koval, and Adam L. Alter, found that people whose names are easier to pronounce tend to have higher-status positions in their careers. Since people tend to like information that they can easily process, they warm up to easily pronounced names.
Also, a study by Marquette University titled “The “Name Game”: Affective and Hiring Reactions to First Names” by John Cotton, Bonnie S. O’Neill, and Andrea Griffin found that if you have a common sounding name, you are more likely to be hired over applicants with rare names.
People with Unique Names Are Often Considered Trouble
When you are naming your child, the chances are probably small that you are thinking that the name you are choosing can cause your child to be related to juvenile delinquency. However, a 2009 study at Shippensburg University titled “First Names and Crime: Does Unpopularity Spell Trouble?” by David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee found that there is a correlation between the popularity of your first name and juvenile criminal behavior.
The research states that while you may think your child will get positive attention with his or her unique name, they may be treated differently by their peers. Furthermore, it can lead to them having difficulty forming relationships, which can make them more susceptible to crime. According to researchers, the root of the reason they act out is often that they do not like their name.
While the study does not show that the unique names caused juvenile behavior, it is a link between the two. Also, the research found that young people with uncommon names are more likely to engage in criminal activity, regardless of their race.
If You Are A Boy with A Girl’s Name, You Are More Likely to Have Disciplinary Problems in School
David N. Figlio in his 2005 study “Boys Named Sue: Disruptive Children and their Peers,” found that boys with names commonly associated with girls misbehave more in middle school, which leads to lower test scores and increased disciplinary problems. They are also more likely to be disruptive to their peers.
However, women with gender-neutral names are more likely to succeed in specific fields. When it comes to male-dominated fields, like law and engineering, women with gender-neutral names are better able to thrive.
People with White-Sounding Names Are Most Likely to Be Hired
When it comes to your child’s future, you may hope that he or she gets hired based on their merits and qualifications. However, one study published in the American Economic Association by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination” found that white sounding names receive almost 50 percent more callbacks than applicants with black-sounding names.
Women in High-Ranking Roles Tend Not to Use Nicknames
In a 2011 analysis by LinkedIn, researchers found that female CEOs tend to use their full name, instead of nicknames, in the workplace to project professionalism. According to the same analysis, male CEOs tend to use one-syllable nicknames to create a sense of casualness and openness. Therefore, when picking a name for your child, you must take into account how it can affect their childhood, which will have a direct impact on their future.