What Does Your Name Tell Others About You?

Your name says a lot about you, and could influence what people think about you. New research shows that certain names are associated with lower or higher estimates of expected academic success, up to a 20 percent difference in some cases.

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Here is the list of the average ratings of expected academic success (on a scale of 1, "not very successful" to 10, "very successful") for a set of common names, broken down into groups based on the mother's education level and socioeconomic status (SES). The names from higher maternal education and SES were correlated with higher expected academic success by a group of 89 undergraduates.

High Maternal Education and SES

  • Benjamin 7.07
  • Samuel 7.20
  • Alexander 7.16
  • Katherine 7.42
  • Alexandra 7.06
  • Rachel 6.52

High Maternal Education

  • John 6.45
  • William 7.12
  • Emma 6.83
  • Julia 6.89

High Maternal SES

  • Andrew 7.03
  • Madison 7.39
  • Lauren 6.85

Low Maternal Education and SES

  • Cody 5.66
  • Brandon 5.94
  • Justin 5.98
  • Amber 5.74
  • Heather 6.36
  • Kayla 5.85

Low Maternal Education

  • Travis 5.55
  • Tyler 6.19
  • Brittany 6.52
  • Briana 6.41

Low Maternal SES

  • Anthony 6.55
  • Robert 7.07
  • Stephanie 6.52
  • Alyssa 6.31

You can follow LiveScience staff writer Jennifer Welsh on Twitter @microbelover. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

Jennifer Welsh

Jennifer Welsh is a Connecticut-based science writer and editor and a regular contributor to Live Science. She also has several years of bench work in cancer research and anti-viral drug discovery under her belt. She has previously written for Science News, VerywellHealth, The Scientist, Discover Magazine, WIRED Science, and Business Insider.