Does Your Name Affect How You Perform in Life?

Posted to Statistics  |  Nathan Yau

Studies on names and performance seem to be all the rage right now:

We like our names. And that preference can have negative repercussions, according to research published last month. Major leaguers with “K” initials tend to strike out more, perhaps reflecting the batters’ unconscious pull to appear next to the strikeout symbol “K” on scorecards. Students with initials C and D have worse grades than the A’s and B’s and everyone else, gravitating toward the grades their initials represent.

Of course, I’m a little skeptical about all of these studies, and with tiny effects like 0.02, these studies probably deserve it. In any case, they’re still interesting to read about. I wonder how one could get his hands on such data. The data’s probably just an email away, but in my current half-asleep stooper, I’ll leave that for another time. I’m sure it’d be really interesting to play with though.

Have you read Freakonomics? If you have, all of these name studies remind me of that chapter about the two brothers named Winner and Loser. If you haven’t read the book, uh, there’s a chapter on two brothers named Winner and Loser.

4 Comments

  • My name is Tony, and it always boggles the mind how many infomercials are by people whose names are the same as mine: Tony Robbins, Tony Little, Tony Horton, … there at least 3 more that are at the tip of my tongue.

  • My name is Tony, and it always boggles the mind how many infomercials are by people whose names are the same as mine: Tony Robbins, Tony Little, Tony Horton, … there at least 3 more that are at the tip of my tongue.

  • The baseball data at least are publicly available: baseball-databank.org.

    I did some follow-up analyses of the baseball data here, in case you’re interested.

  • The baseball data at least are publicly available: baseball-databank.org.

    I did some follow-up analyses of the baseball data here, in case you’re interested.

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