Do initials influence your choice of company?

October 24th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 24 (IANS) People prefer to work for companies with initials matching their own rather than for those with other initials, according to a study by Ghent University researchers.Frederik Anseel and Wouter Duyck, psychologists at Ghent (Belgium), were interested in testing whether ‘initials’ were potent enough to affect where we choose to work.

They analysed a database of full-time Belgian employees, looking for name and how often their first initial matched the first letter of their company’s name.

Researchers estimated the expected number of these matches (using a probability calculation) and compared them to what they actually observed, a release of Association for Psychological Science said.

The psychologists found that there is indeed a name-letter effect between employee names and the company they work for. There were 12 percent more matches than was expected based on the probability estimate.

They noted that “hence, for about one in nine people whose initials matched their company’s initial, choice of employer seems to have been influenced by the fact that the letters matched”.

In addition, when the psychologists looked across all letters, they found that this effect occurred with every letter of the alphabet, but was more apparent for rarer initials.

These findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

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