If you have a name that’s easy to pronounce, you may have more friends than someone with a name that’s difficult to pronounce, according to a recently released study.
The study has been published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and is the first of its kind. Researchers examined how the pronunciation of names can influence the shaping of impressions and decision making.
They also found that “the name pronunciation effect” happens when those with names that are easier to pronounce are seen in a more positive light compared to those with names that are harder to pronounce.
- People with names that were easier to pronounce were more likely to be selected for political office and job promotions.
- Political candidates with easy-to-pronounce names were more likely to win a race than those without, based on a mock ballot study.
- Attorneys with names that are more easily pronounced rose more quickly to superior positions in their firm hierarchies, based on a field study of 500 first and last names of U.S. lawyers.
“Research findings revealed that the effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce,” University of Melbourne professor and lead study author Simon Laham said in a statement. He believes that this particular data can impact society by potentially eliminating bias and discrimination in various areas of life.
“It is important to appreciate the subtle biases that shape our choices and judgments about others. Such an appreciation may help us de-bias our thinking, leading to fairer, more objective treatment of others,” he said.