The Power of Names: How What You're Called Influences Who You Are

How do you feel about your name? Studies suggest that liking your own name is predictive of well-being and happiness, and it also positively affects your self-esteem. But does your name affect how other people treat you? Research suggests that this can absolutely be the case. For example, one study found a correlation between boys with traditionally girls names and boys that had difficulties in school.

What's In A Name?

People ascribe personality traits to different letters and phonetic sounds.

Do You Like Your Name? You Should.

Positive feelings about your own name might lead to a happier existence.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. A study found a correlation between boys with traditionally girls' names had more difficulties in school. 00:46

  2. Peoples' names are linked to social status and other societal aspirations. 01:46

  3. Names can have a psychological affect on one's self-perception and overall mental health. 02:08

Your Name Could Dictate Your Career

Is little Sally Baker more likely to own a bakery when she grows up?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. One study found that job applicants with equal qualifications were more likely to be hired if they had "white-sounding" names. 00:55

  2. People appear more likely to choose careers with labels that resemble their own name. 02:18

  3. Researchers theorize that nominative determinism happens because people prefer things that they can relate to themselves. 02:35

10 Illegal Baby Names

Don't even think about naming your Norwegian baby Bridge.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. It is illegal to name a baby "Devil" in Japan. 00:18

  2. It is illegal to name a baby "@" in China. 00:59

  3. It is illegal to name a baby "Stallion" in New Zealand. 01:28

Even Dolphins Have Names

The names consist of signature whistles that dolphins may use to find each other.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Each dolphin's signature whistle serves as a "name" and also carries other information about an individual. 00:25

  2. Dolphins can create new whistles to identify objects and even human trainers. 01:22

  3. Dolphins may be able to recall all of the individuals in a certain group after hearing the signature whistle for one member. 02:13

Written by Curiosity Staff July 22, 2016

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