Is who you marry, where you live and the career you choose all influenced by your name?

Maybe not.

We see a lot of studies lately (many right here on this blog) that show simple things having uncanny influence on seemingly unrelated areas of our lives.

Turns out some of them may be dead wrong:

Three articles published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology have shown that a disproportionate share of people choose spouses, places to live, and occupations with names similar to their own. These findings, interpreted as evidence of implicit egotism, are included in most modern social psychology textbooks and many university courses. The current article successfully replicates the original findings but shows that they are most likely caused by a combination of cohort, geographic, and ethnic confounds as well as reverse causality.

Source: “Spurious? Name similarity effects (implicit egotism) in marriage, job, and moving decisions.” from J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Jul;101(1):1-24.

There are fascinating things underlying human behavior and the world we live in. But let’s stay a little bit skeptical too.

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