7. If Your Name is Dennis, You're More Likely to Become a Dentist
당신 이름이 데니스Dennis라면 당신은 덴티스트dentist(치과의사)가 되는 경향이 있다
<논문 내용 요약>
연구는 다음과 같은 사실을 제시하고 있다:
사람들은 자신들의 이름과 닮은 직업을 선택한다 – 무의식적으로 끌린다 – 는 것이다. 그러한 효과는 여성의 경우는 first name(이름)에 강하고
남성의 경우는 last name(성)에 강하다; 이에 대한 심리학자들의 가설은, 여성들이 last name(성)에 덜 고착되어 있는데 이는 (나중에)
남편의 last name(성)을 따라갈 것으로 예상되기 때문이라는 것이다.
“암묵적인 자기중심성향(implicit egotism)의 배경에 있는 핵심 관념은, 사람들이 선호하는 사람, 장소, 사물은 자기와 (무의식적으로)
연관짓는 것들이라는 점이다”
If Your Name is Dennis, You're More Likely to Become a Dentist
The strange science of how names shape careers
Alice Robb/January 9, 2014, The New Republic
Can we blame Ron Paul’s political ambitions on his last name? Research suggests that
people choose—or are unconsciously drawn to—careers that resemble their own names.
The effect is stronger for women’s first names and men’s last names; psychologists
hypothesize that women are less attached to their last names because they anticipate
taking their husbands’.
In a 2002 paper in the journal Attitudes and Social Cognition, psychologists from
the State University of New York at Buffalo, led by Brett Pelham, found that
people’s first and last names may have an impact on the jobs they end up in, thanks
to a phenomenon called “implicit egotism.” “The essential idea behind implicit
egotism,” they write, “Is that people should prefer people, places, and things that
they associate (unconsciously) with the self...people’s positive automatic
associations about themselves may influence their feelings about almost anything
that people associate with the self.”
Research on the mere ownership effect shows that giving people objects such as pens
or keychains causes people to evaluate these objects more favorably than they would
otherwise…If people instantly acquire positive feelings about objects once these
objects become part of the self, it stands to reason that people should develop deep
and abiding affections for objects that are chronically associated with the
The "ownership effect" could apply to people's names, or even the individual letters
in their names. Pelham investigated the implications of this bias on people's
We began our assessment of career choices by focusing on whether people’s first
names predicted whether they were dentists or lawyers.
We searched for dentists and lawyers by consulting the official Web pages of the
American Dental Association (http://www.ada.org/directory/ dentistsearchform.html)
and the American Bar Association (http://lawyers.martindale.com/aba).
We began this search by consulting 1990 census records. Using these records, we
attempted to identify the four most common male and female first names that shared a
minimum of their first three letters with the names of each of these two
The 16 names we generated in this fashion included the female names Denise, Dena,
Denice, Denna, Laura, Lauren, Laurie, and Laverne and the male names Dennis, Denis,
Denny, Denver, Lawrence, Larry, Lance, and Laurence. We expected that people with
names such as Dennis or
Denise would be overrepresented among dentists, and people with names such as
Lawrence or Laura would be
overrepresented among lawyers...We limited both searches to the eight most populous
U.S. states (California,
Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas).
Their findings confirmed the implicit egotism theory:
Relative to female lawyers, female dentists were quite a bit more likely to have
names that began with the letters
“Den”…Though the results for men were also in the expected direction, they fell
short of significance.
And in an even more convincing analysis:
We sampled dentists in all 50 U.S. states and assessed whether dentists were more
likely than the average American
to possess names such as Dennis, Denis, Denise, or Dena (the two most common male
and female names in our lists).
We compared (a) the number of dentists with each of these four specific names with
(b) the number of dentists who had the two European American names that were most
similar in frequency to each of these specific names. For example, according to 1990
census records, the names Jerry, Dennis, and Walter respectively ranked 39th, 40th,
and 41st in frequency for male first names. Taken together, the names Jerry and
Walter have an average frequency of 0.416%, compared with a frequency of 0.415% for
the name Dennis. Thus, if people named Dennis are more likely than people named
Jerry or Walter to work as dentists, this would suggest that people named Dennis do,
in fact, gravitate toward dentistry. This is the case. A nationwide search focusing
on each of these specific first names revealed 482 dentists named Dennis, 257
dentists named Walter, and 270 dentists named Jerry.