Your initials decide your success: Study

November 15th, 2007 - 5:04 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Nov 15 (ANI): If you like your name then you should stop dreaming about being successful, for a new research has found that liking your own name sabotages success for people whose initials match negative performance labels.

The study, conducted by Leif Nelson at the University of California, San Diego and colleague Joseph Simmons from Yale University, provided striking evidence that the unconscious wants can insidiously undermine conscious pursuits.

In the first study, the team investigated the effect of name resemblance on batters strikeouts. In baseball, strikeouts are recorded using the letter K.

The researchers, after analysing Major League Baseball players performance spanning 93 years, found that batters whose names began with K struck out at a higher rate than the remaining batters.

Even Karl Koley Kolseth would find a strikeout aversive, but he might find it a little less aversive than players who do not share his initials, and therefore he might avoid striking out less enthusiastically, the researchers said.

In a second study, the team investigated the phenomenon in academia in which they reviewed 15 years of grade point averages (GPAs) for M.B.A. students.

Letter grades are commonly used to measure students performance, with the letters A, B, C and D denoting different levels of performance.

The analysis found that students whose names began with C or D earned lower GPAs than students whose names began with A or B.

Students with the initial C or D, presumably because of an unconscious fondness for these letters, were slightly less successful at achieving their conscious academic goals.

Interestingly, students with the initial A or B did not perform better than students whose initials were grade irrelevant. Therefore, having initials that match hard-to-achieve positive outcomes, like acing a test, may not necessarily cause an increase in performance.

After analysing law schools, the researchers found that as the quality of schools declined, so did the proportion of lawyers with name initials A and B.

The researchers also confirmed the new findings in the laboratory with an anagram test.

The result of the test confirmed that when peoples initials matched negative performance outcomes, performance suffered.

The study will be published in Psychological Science. (ANI)

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