Categorized | Opinions

What’s in a name?

By Mavis Brown

Research says that if you have a common name, you are more likely to be hired for a job in which you’ve applied. This is probably accurate considering a separate researcher concluded that after sending in one hundred identical resumes other than the names, that people with more “white” names such as Brendan, received twice the amount of callbacks rather than people with names associated more African American originated names like Jamal or LaKeisha.

More and more proof becomes available that your name effects your level of success to at least some extent as more research is done on the subject.  In the late forties, two professors at Harvard University published a study of thirty-three hundred men who had graduated, looking at whether their names had any type of effect on their school performance. The men with more uncommon names, the study found, were more likely to have failed or to have shown symptoms of psychological neurosis rather than those with more “normal” names. The Mikes were doing just fine, but the Berriens were having issues. A strange name, the professors surmised, had a negative psychological effect on its owner.

In a Marquette University study, the researchers found evidence to imply that names that were viewed as the least unique were more likable. People with common names were more likely to be hired, and those with rare names were least likely to be hired. That means that the Jameses, Marys, Johns, and Patricias of the world are in luck.


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