On February 22nd, 2015 we learned about

Why Williams and Wilmas Will Like this Story

You may build your identity around your name more than you realize. Your name actually makes a measurable difference in your decision making, which has been studies for the last 30 years as the “Name Letter Effect.”

Basically, people in all languages, ages, etc. show a preference for things that start with the same letter as their name. The effect has been seen in purchasing decisions, aesthetic preferences, and even humor; cartoons signed by someone with matching initials as the reader were judged to be funnier than other cartoonists’ work.

If you change your name, it takes a little bit of time, but eventually your ego, er, preferences catch up. Women who changed their name when they married shift to preferring their new last initial after about 2 years, on average. They don’t forget their maiden initial either, but their current name seems to hold the most influence.

Some studies have tried to make even more extreme connections than these, even trying to match personal performance to letters used in ratings (eg, do people named Doug prefer to get Ds in school?) but these studies don’t hold up as well when reanalyzed.

Source: Sam Sells Seashells By the Seashore by Jessa Gamble, The Last Word on Nothing

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