Sunday, September 27, 2009

Are names destiny?

Does your name influence your choice of career? The following paragraph caught my eye, from a NY Times story on testing the safety of motorcycle helmets.

"Hugh H. Hurt, a researcher who developed the Head Protection Research Laboratory at the University of Southern California, and author of the Hurt Report, a seminal study of motorcycle crashes, calls the current Snell M2005 standard “a little bit excessive.” "


Economists Do It With Models said...

Actually, the effect has some empirical evidence behind it. The most popular study (as far as I know) shows that people named Dennis are disproportionately likely to be come dentists, for example. You can see a story about it here:

Tom Baxter said...

"Nominative determinism" is the "New Scientist" name for this phenomenon.

Ankit Ashok said...

This idea has been studies quite a lot.

Refered to somtimes as implicit egotism, here is a research paper on this effect.