The simpler and more pronounceable your name, the more it is
likely to win you friends and favour at the workplace, say
In the first study of its kind, researchers from Melbourne and New
York Universities analysed how the pronunciation of names can
influence image formation and decision-making.
They demonstrated "the name pronunciation effect," which occurs
when people with easy-to-pronounce names are evaluated more
positively than those with difficult-to-pronounce names, reported
the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, citing a Melbourne
"Research findings revealed that the effect is not due merely to
the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but
rather how easy it is to pronounce," said Simon Laham from
Melbourne, who led the study.
The study revealed that people with more pronounceable names were
more likely to be favoured for political office and job
Political candidates with easy-to-pronounce names were more likely
to win a race than those without, based on a mock ballot study.
Attorneys with more pronounceable names rose more quickly to
superior positions in their firm hierarchies, based on a field
study of 500 first and last names of US lawyers.
Adam Alter, from New York University, who conducted the law firm
analysis, said this effect probably also exists in other
industries and in many everyday contexts.
"People simply aren't aware of the subtle impact that names can
have on their judgments," Alter said.
Laham said the results had important implications for the
management of bias and discrimination in society.