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The name letter effect is the tendency to evaluate alphabetical letters in one’s name, especially initials, particularly favorably. Recent evidence suggests that name initials may even predict career choices. The authors investigated whether people possess favorable attitudes toward basic attitude objects beginning with name initials, both between individuals (e.g., does Judy like jam more than does Doug?) and within individuals (e.g., does Judy like jam more than honey?). Ratings of animals, foods, leisure activities (Studies 1-4) and national groups (Studies 2-4) revealed no object preference as a function of matching name initials. However, the name letter effect emerged (Studies 3-4), as did a clear preference for brand names starting with one’s name initials (Study 4). Self-esteem, narcissism, and stimuli characteristics did not reliably influence these effects. Implications for extending name letter effects to basic attitude processes are discussed.

Source: “Testing the Generality of the Name Letter Effect: Name Initials and Everyday Attitudes” from Pers Soc Psychol Bull August 2005 vol. 31no. 8 1099-1111

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