Our Names, Our Jobs


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’.

If your name is Larry, are you more likely to become a lawyer? And if your name is Denise are you more likely to become a dentist? Psychologists from a 2002 study say that our first and last names may have a correlation to the jobs we end up in due to “implicit egotism,” in which we unconsciously associate ourselves with other things.

Okay, so that does mean I should have been a … Milkman … a … Danger to society? I guess I’m a danger to society.

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18 Comments / Post A Comment

jillcool (#2,123)

So since my name is Angela, does that mean I’m an angel?

joyballz (#2,000)

last name starts with Ba and I’m a Banker. Creepy.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

So I would be an…Event Planner (unlikely)…Destitute? (accurate)

My name starts with La and I work in a lab. Creepy. And sad, because my last name is Pope. I guess my brother will have to work on living up to that (po)tential. See what I did there?!?

I recall reading that this finding has not stood up to continued scrutiny, but can’t remember where.

In any case, I used to be a Journalist and now I’m in Communications and those are my initials so clearly it’s true.

@stuffisthings I could have sworn I read it in here: http://www.refsmmat.com/statistics/index.html but it doesn’t seem to be there.

Anyway, that’s a great, quick, not-too-technical read for anyone who regularly interprets scientific papers of any kind (or writes them.)

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

I … don’t know what that makes me. An e-Caitlin-omist?

@Caitlin with a C clearly your destiny is to become a Communist.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@stuffisthings Caitlin -> Communist.

Makes sense.

ATF (#4,229)

My last name is Ferrari but I am not a race car driver. :(

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

@ATF …YET.

ATF (#4,229)

@Caitlin with a C YES! I think your thinking.

faustbanana (#2,376)

My last name begins with Ha so maybe I am destined to always HAte my job, ha ha ha ha ha.

Blondsak (#2,299)

I’m not quite Libby the Librarian, but it’s close. *side-eyes study*

According to my last name I should be a member of a professional ethnic dance troupe.

So.

juniorbizarre (#4,044)

But Mike, you are a dang good writer already! (sorry sorry sorry)

ThatJenn (#916)

I’m not interested in becoming a journalist, jeweler, jouster, janitor, jockey, or judge, even a little.

Those under my last name’s list (H) aren’t any more appealing.

I’ve been a grant writer, a chemist, an executive assistant, a manager, a registrar, and a trainer. So if I go chronologically, does that make my true name “CRTEMG”? I think it has a nice ring to it.

buckachu (#1,686)

Whoa- My name start with CO and I’m in compliance.

Also you can’t spell danger without DANG!!!

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