Name Perceptions – What's In A Name?

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The importance of a name can not be underestimated. When we meet new people, the first thing we do is introduce ourselves by name. When you hear about someone else, you often hear about them by name. You may think of people with a particular name as having certain similar characteristics. All these factors, and all the people we know by a particular name often influence our opinion of that name.

Numerous psychological studies have been performed that tried to measure peoples perceptions about names, and link those perceptions to the actual characteristics exhibited by those people. Indeed, many of these studies did find that people have pre-conceived ideas of what characteristics a particular name has. This implications that people may have feelings about you simply by hearing your name. How someone fears you may be a factor of other people they know with a similar name, or other people they have heard about with your name. It's not uncommon to hear parents reject names for their upcoming child simply because they know another person with that name that they dislike.

Before choosing a name for your child, it's a good idea to find out what people think of that name. Unfortunately, it's often a mystery what people think of a particular name, or how they might judge someone with that name. There are a number of books available that try to correlate names to characteristics, or you can turn to the internet to try and find out what people think of a particular name. Even if you do not think that a person's name can have any affect on how they are treated, it can be both interesting and entertaining to see what other people think of your name.

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