Sep 17, 2009, 12:03PM

The Portia Hypothesis

Do our names determine our career paths... and our success?

What’s in a name? A study a few years back, “Why Susie sells seashells by the seashort: implicit egotism and major life decisions," found that, for instance, people named Dennis were more likely to becomedentists. The authors explain that “Because most people possess positive associations about themselves, most people prefer things that are connected to the self” — as in, to take one example, things that sound like their names. They call it “implicit egoism.” It’s a small effect, but real. And it reminds us that some truly odd things can affect even the most important decisions about our lives.



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