We do not select the names we choose to carry. However, they are mighty and have a largely invisible impact on our lives.
Are names important?
To a remarkable degree, they do. Although we do not choose our names, they are badges that convey information regarding our school, class, degree, and ethnicity (or at least the parents’ names). Research has shown that the world has different expectations about a boy called Tyrone than the one named Philip; however, even though the assumptions are usually incorrect, they can exert an enormous impact on life’s trajectory.
Names can also exert a subconscious influence on a person’s decisions and it is the same for reborn baby nursery names. Certain researchers believe that there are large amounts of dentists with the name Dennis and lawyers with the name Lauren and it’s not just a coincidence to find that Dr.
Douglas Hart of Scarsdale, N.Y., chose cardiology or the fact that the Greathouse family from West Virginia runs a real-estate firm. To a certain extent, it’s been the case: Romans used the phrase “no men is omen also known as “name is destiny.
Does the way we refer to kids changed?
In the United States, it is. Most families would give boys names from the repertoire established within a family through generations. And when it was the same for girls, there was a limitless number of names acceptable, mostly limited to those of saints. In recent years the variety of available names has grown exponentially.
When 1912 was among the most famous names in America, including John and Mary, the grandparents of 80 percent of American baby boys chose between the top 200 names. Nowadays, less than half of girls and around 60% of boys are given the top 200 names.
One study revealed that 30 percent of African American females born in California in the 1990s had names that were not shared with another person from the same state during the same year.
What factors influence these choices?
The most straightforward answer is taste. However, the concept of taste is complex. Names change and come in and out of fashion, just like clothing styles, musical genres, and haircuts.
Five of the top girls’ names of 1912 -Mary, Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, and Ruth- were in the top 40 in 2010 when the top names including Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, and Ava. The name Wendy was a huge hit following it was announced that Peter Pan would be the next film and the stage musical Peter Pan in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Brittany was a hit in the 90s, thanks to the success of pop superstar Britney Spears. The popularity of names like Isabella, Jacob, and Cullen has recently been associated with characters bearing the same names in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight vampire fiction series.
Is it good to have a popular name?
In cases where the name is all that’s well-known, those with common names do better than people with unique names. Studies have shown that a resume with a name that is perceived to be African-American such as Lakesia Washington, is not getting as much interest from prospective employers as a resume with a much more “Caucasian” name, like Mary Ann Roberts. A recent Australian study revealed that people are likelier to get a better impression of colleagues and politicians whose names are easy to pronounce.
However, in the age of personal expression, many parents see common names such as Thomas and Jane as uninteresting and dull. “For some parents, picking out a baby name is like curating the perfect bookshelf or outfit,” author Nina Shen Rastogi said on Slate.com.
“It should telegraph refinement without snobbishness, exclusivity without gaucheness, uniqueness without declassee wackiness. This is a fine line to cross: Aiden, one of the most sought-after boys’ names across the U.S. over the last seven years, has lost its exclusivity that has made it appealing to many parents.
What are our reactions towards our names?
Research suggests that people are subconsciously attracted to people, things and even places that resemble the names they have in their own. Psychologists refer to this as “implicit egotism.
It is believed that the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung noted that his colleague Sigmund Freud (German for “joy”) advocated the pleasure principle, Alfred Adler (“eagle”) the desire to be powerful and himself (“young”) was the “idea of rebirth.
A controversial 2007 study pointed to an implicit egotism theory as the main reason students with name that began with a C D scored lower grade points averages as compared to those whose name start either with an A, or B. Students tend to get grades, the study claimed which reflect their loved initials.
What are our names the destiny of our lives?
They are certainly influential however “destiny” is too strong word. “Names only have a significant influence when that is the only thing you know about the person,” states psychology professor Dr. Martin Ford of George Mason University. “Add a picture, and the impact of the name recedes.
Add information about personality, motivation, and ability, and the impact of the name shrinks to minimal significance. Condoleezza Rice’s name could be a hindrance, but she was clever, skilled, and determined to be appointed Secretary of State. However, others similar to Sue You of Los Angeles were raised hearing people tell them, “Oh my god, that’s your name, you should totally become a lawyer. She is now an attorney.”
Psychologically,” she says her name may have “helped me to decide to move in this direction.” Names of the West The place you live can have an impact on what name you choose for your children. The American West, University of Michigan researcher Michael Varnum has found, parents tend to give their children names that are not traditional than those living along the Eastern shoreline are.
The researcher says this is a reflection of the long-standing early tendency to “individualistic values such as uniqueness and self-reliance. It’s easy to imagine that biblical names are more popular in regions that are conservative However, the opposite is the case.
The expert in naming Laura Wattenberg says that “classic, Christian, masculine” names such as Peter and Thomas are more well-liked in blue states; however, “an androgynous pagan newcomer like Dakota” is more likely to appear in red states. The Alaskan Sarah Palin that Western symbol of traditional values, is an excellent example of this paradox. Her children were Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig.
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