Simple Baby Names and Cognitive Fluency

A few years ago I wrote that complex baby names are perceived as more dangerous than simple names.

One reason for this is cognitive fluency, which is a measure of how easy it is to think about something.

Simple names are easy to spell and say, so they’re easy for our minds to process. Complex names, on the other hand, are not as easy to process.

Various studies have shown that people associate high fluency with things like intelligence, safety, veracity, fame and pleasure. Therefore, simple names like Emma and Luke are more likely to leave people with a positive impression than complex names like Bartholomew and Chrysanthe.

Sources: 8 Studies Demonstrating the Power of Simplicity, Processing Fluency, The learned interpretation of cognitive fluency


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