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Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr. 2001 Feb;127(1):59-88.

Characteristics attributed to individuals on the basis of their first names.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90095, USA.


Characteristics connoted by first names were explored in 7 studies. Four factors were identified: Ethical Caring, Popular Fun, Successful, and Masculine-Feminine (Study 1, N = 165). Men's names connoted more masculine characteristics, less ethical caring, and more successful characteristics than did women's names (Study 2, N = 274). Nicknames connoted less successful characteristics, more popular fun, and less ethical caring characteristics than did given names (Study 3, N = 289). Androgynous names connoted more popular fun and less masculine characteristics for men and more popular fun, less ethical caring, and more masculine characteristics for women than did gender-specific names (Study 4, N = 378). Less conventionally spelled names connoted uniformly less attractive characteristics (Study 5, N = 145). For men only, longer names connoted more ethical caring, less popular fun, more successful, and less masculine characteristics (Study 6, N = 620). More anxiety and neuroticism were attributed to those with less common names and more exuberance was attributed to those with more attractive names (Study 7, N = 137).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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