How To Win Friends And Influence People? Choose A Name That Is Easy To Pronounce.
February 8, 2012
Having a simple, easy-to-pronounce name is more likely to win you friends and favor in the workplace, a unique study has found.
AsianScientist (Feb. 8, 2012) – Having a simple, easy-to-pronounce name is more likely to win you friends and favor in the workplace, a study by Dr. Simon Laham at the University of Melbourne and Dr. Adam Alter at New York University Stern School of Business, has found.
In the first study of its kind, researchers analyzed a range of names from Anglo, Asian, and Western and Eastern European backgrounds both in lab settings and in a natural environment.
The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, demonstrated “the name pronunciation effect,” which occurs when people with easy-to-pronounce names are evaluated more positively than those with difficult-to-pronounce names.
The study revealed that people with more pronounceable names were more likely to be favored for political office and job promotions, win a mock political race, and rise to superior positions in legal firms, based on a field study of 500 first and last names of U.S. lawyers.
Lead author Dr. Simon Laham said subtle biases that we are not aware of affect our decisions and choices.
“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,” he said.
Dr. Adam Alter who conducted the law firm analysis said this effect probably also exists in other industries and in many everyday contexts. Atler previously showed that financial stocks with simpler names tend to outperform similar stocks with complex names immediately after they appear on the market.
“People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments,” Dr. Alter said.
The article can be found at: Laham SM et al. (2011) The name-pronunciation effect: Why people like Mr. Smith more than Mr. Colquhoun.
Source: University of Melboune.
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