Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could Your Initials Influence Where You Choose To Work?

Date:
October 26, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
The "name-letter effect," is a phenomenon which shows that we have a preference for things that begin with the same letter as our first name. Belgian psychologists wanted to know if this effect is strong enough to affect where we work. The researchers found 12 percent more matches between employee initials and their company's name than was expected based on a probability estimate, indicating "name-letter effect" occurs between employee names and the company they work for.

One of the most important decisions that we can make is what company we will work for. There are a number of factors to consider when making this decision, including salary, benefits and work location.

However, there may also be less-obvious factors in play that sway our decision, and without us even knowing it. It is well known that unconscious thoughts can influence certain aspects of our behavior. An intriguing example of this is the “name-letter effect,” a phenomenon which shows that we have a preference for things that begin with the same letter as our first name.

Psychologists Frederik Anseel and Wouter Duyck from Ghent University (Belgium) were interested in testing the extent of the name-letter effect and if it is potent enough to affect where we choose to work. The psychologists analyzed a database containing information about Belgian employees who work full-time. More specifically, the researchers looked at the employees’ name and how often their first initial matched the first letter of their company’s name. The researchers estimated the expected number of these matches (using a probability calculation) and compared that to what they actually observed.

In a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the psychologists found that there is indeed a name-letter effect between employee names and the company they work for. There were 12% more matches than was expected based on the probability estimate. The researchers noted that “hence, for about one in nine people whose initials matched their company’s initial, choice of employer seems to have been influenced by the fact that the letters matched.” In addition, when the psychologists looked across all letters, they found that this effect occurred with every letter of the alphabet, but was more apparent for rarer initials.

The authors concluded that they “have demonstrated that people are more likely to work for companies with initials matching their own than to work for companies with other initials.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Could Your Initials Influence Where You Choose To Work?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023113109.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, October 26). Could Your Initials Influence Where You Choose To Work?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023113109.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Could Your Initials Influence Where You Choose To Work?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081023113109.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Would A Travel Ban Even Work In Stopping Ebola Spread?

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) The U.S. currently isn't banning travel from Ebola-stricken areas, but it's at least being considered. Some argue though it could be counterproductive. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins