How Rare Is Your First Name?

Regardless of what your name is, you probably think it’s rarer than other people do.

A recent study conducted by John W. Kulig of Plymouth State University in New Hampshire revealed that study participants consistently rated their own first names as rarer than other participants did. (So, participants named John would consistently judge “John” to be more uncommon than non-Johns would.)

According to the abstract, “the first name uniqueness effect was seen for both rare and common names, and male and female names.”


Kulig says people have a subconscious desire to feel special, so they are “motivated to be different from others.” Hence, they overestimate the uniqueness of their own first names.

Sources: What’s in a name? Our false uniqueness! (via You May Think Your Name Is Rare, via You May Think Your Name Is Rare: Scientific American Podcast), You think your first name is rarer than other people do

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