Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Is your name hot or not? MIT cognitive scientist Amy Perfors performed an interesting study to see if a person's first name influenced how attractive others judged them to be. She took photos of various friends and posted them on along with their (not necessarily real) first names. Then she posted the same pictures with different first names and collated the results. Among other things, she showed that "Paul" is a bad first name for a guy(!)
So what are the ingredients of a sexy name? For boys, a good name will contain vowel sounds made at the front of the mouth, such as 'e' or 'i' sounds; names with fuller, rounder vowel sounds such as 'u' tend to score lower. So pat yourself on the back if you're called Ben... but if your name is Paul you might have to work harder to snare a date.

The opposite is true for girls, Perfors found. Women with round-sounding names such as Laura tended to score higher than those with smaller vowel sounds. "Unfortunately for me, Amy is one of the bad names," Perfors laments.
More information here.