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  • This is Louis. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with a disproportionate number of other people also named Louis.

  • Were unconsciously attracted to people, places and things that resemble ourselves.

  • And it affects our life in some pretty bizarre ways.

  • In one study, researchers analysed the public records of 66 million Americans and found that

  • people are disproportionately likely to live in places whose names resemble their own.

  • Just like St. Louis and it’s Louises, Jacksonville is inhabited by more Jacks, Philadelphia by Philips, and Virginia Beach by Virginias.

  • While some gravitate towards these places,

  • it’s also possible that parents living in Georgia are more likely to name their children George or Georgia.

  • The researchers also found people are more likely to live in cities whose names began with their birthday numbers.

  • If you were born on the second of the month, you’d live in Two Harbors, Minnesota. The third? Three Oaks, Michigan.

  • And people were more likely to choose careers whose labels resemble their names.

  • Dennis or Denise are overrepresented among dentists; Laurie, Lauren and Lawrence among lawyers.

  • Researchers called this effect of unconscious self-loveImplicit Egotism”. And it doesn't stop there.

  • A recent study of undergraduate students found when you work in a group,

  • sharing initials with other members of the group increases the overall quality of your group work.

  • Bizarrely, the study was authored by three researchers by the names of Polman, Pollmann and Poehlman.

  • They suggest this is caused by theName-letter effect”, where we have a preference for the letters in our names.

  • We write our name thousands of times throughout our life,

  • so the more we are merely exposed to somethinglike those lettersthe more we like it.

  • It's also known as theMere exposure effect.”

  • One study in the 1980s showed people more often ranked letters belonging to their name as their most preferred letters of the alphabet.

  • And they found this Name-letter effect across 12 different European languages.

  • Some of the findings - like more Louises living in St Louis - seem counter-intuitive,

  • but they are supported by a lot of data, like analysing birth, marriage and death records.

  • So when Angela moves to Los Angeles or Phillip buys a Phillips television, there may be some implicit egotism involved.

  • But, finally, there’s a scientific explanation for why Susie sells sea shells by the sea shore.

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This is Louis. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with a disproportionate number of other people also named Louis.

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B1 US louis st louis effect implicit study georgia

The Bizarre Ways Your Name Affects Your Behavior

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    Derek posted on 2015/04/12
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