What’s In a Name? Oh, Just About Your Entire Future Apparently

Actress Katie Holmes seen in high spirits, make up free and carrying a large coffee while sharing a joke with daughter Suri on the way to school in New York
Suri Cruise What is Her Destiny?

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you, did you know that if your name happens to be Dennis, the odds that you will become a dentist increase? Yup, that’s apparently totes true.  Researchers have been looking at data and it seems to imply that a person may be destined to a certain type of career based on their name, a phenomenon called “implicit egotism.”

What is “implicit egotism,” you may wonder? “The essential idea behind implicit egotism,” psychologists from the State University of New York at Buffalo wrote in a piece for the journal Attitudes and Social Cognition, “Is that people should prefer people, places, and things that they associate (unconsciously) with the self…peoples positive automatic associations about themselves may influence their feelings about almost anything that people associate with the self.” In a nutshell, people are drawn to jobs that remind them of themselves, or in this case their name. (So let’s just hope that my husband’s old friend Rob Banks didn’t have the urge to follow his apparent calling.)

But in all seriousness, psychologists found a correlation between names and career choices by looking at people who became lawyers and dentists. Their stats included an abstract entitled Likelihood of Being a Dentist Versus a Lawyer as a Function of One’s First Name which found that men named Dennis gravitated towards dentistry and that perhaps those named Lawrence had a thing for the law. And they had facts to support their claim.

You know what this does to me as a parent? It freaks me out that what I choose to name my daughter would have an influence on what kind of job she would have. The pressure! The pressure! Thankfully her name is pretty, simple and doesn’t really correlate directly to a specific job. But what if I had named her Mary? Would she have been a wedding planner? Or Addison — would she be a mathematician? If I had gone with Lilian, perhaps she would have been a florist?

And in our star driven culture, it is hard not to think of the unique names that celebrities bestow upon their offspring. With some of the totally wacky names that stars give their kids (I’m looking at you, Jason Lee!) one has to wonder if they ever thought about their child’s future in terms of their career choices. One would have to guess that a kid named Pilot Inspektor would have limited options if the name/career correlation is true.  Other celebrity kid names could potentially give a glimpse at their futures too: North West would be a cartographer, Suri Cruise would be the voice of a computer operating system and Apple Martin would be an organic farmer. Probably not fates their well-heeled parents would have anticipated when met with the challenge of naming their daughters.

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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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