Do Bad Baby Names = Sadder, Dumber Adults?

A study recently published in Social Psychological and Personality Science has found that the negative reactions evoked by certain first names can “influence life outcomes for the worse.”

Researchers studied 11,813 users of the European dating site eDarling and found that people with “unfortunate” first names were slightly more likely to smoke, be less educated, and have lower self-esteem than people with names considered positive.

The researchers also found that “most people would sooner remain single — and continue paying for online dating — than consider a romantic partner with an unappealing name.”

“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,” explains Dr. 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.”

My source article called the study “a cautionary tale for parents tempted to get too cute or creative on their baby’s birth certificate.”

Source: Bad baby name could leave your child sadder, dumber

UPDATE: The study is “Unfortunate First Names: Effects of Name-Based Relational Devaluation and Interpersonal Neglect.” That link takes you to the abstract, and — for now, at least — the abstract page includes a link to the full write-up.


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