Does a name determine future success?

Research suggests your baby’s name could alter their entire life – from career success to their love life. But is it really time to get the A-Z name book out again?

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So, you’ve chosen a baby name. You’re happy with it. Your partner’s happy with it. It doesn’t rhyme with any hideous word that school kids are going to latch onto. Sorted, right? Oh, no. What about how their name will impact their career, love life and future chances of winning a Nobel Prize? It may all need to be taken into consideration, Stylist magazine reports.

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Professor Richard Wiseman, author of Quirkology: The Curious Science Of Everyday Lives, undertook a ‘Name Experiment’ of 6,000 people. According to the results, children with names deemed to be ‘attractive’, like James and Elizabeth, were more likely to be given higher marks at school. Later on in life they were more likely to be promoted at work. 

Children may naturally make decisions as a result of their names too, it’s suggested. David Figlio, professor of economics at Northwestern University in Illinois, created linguistics software that determines how feminine a name is. The results suggested that high-achieving girls with feminine names like Anna are unlikely to continue studying maths or science past the age of 16, reports Stylist.

Take note of how fast you skim those first pages of the baby name book. Children with names closer to the start of the alphabet are more likely to sit closer to the teacher, concentrate more and therefore be more successful. Apparently these kids simply get used to coming first and continue in that vein.

If this is making you worry about the name you’ve given your child, you’re not alone. A survey of 3,000 British parents revealed one in five regret their name choice. The cultural shift towards picking unusual names, spearheaded by celebrities, means 8% of parents are fed up of their child’s name being incorrectly pronounced. And 10% said the novelty of the name they chose wore off.

But is it time to panic? Probably not. MFM’s already been busy discounting these ideas with stories of our triumphs, even with names further down the alphabet. We think we’ll all be ok. Zoe looks pretty happy anyway!

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