What’s In a Name?

From “The Atlantic”:http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200411/primarysources (though the link will only work if you’re a subscriber):

If you feel that the opposite sex isn’t giving you the attention you so richly deserve, maybe you should consider making a change—a name change, that is. According to a preliminary study by an MIT cognitive scientist, the vowel sounds in people’s names may have an impact on how others judge their attractiveness. Specifically, when the men in the study were assigned names with a stressed front vowel (a vowel sound spoken at the front of the mouth), they were rated as more attractive than when they were assigned names with a stressed back vowel. (In other words, good news for Dave, Craig, Ben, Jake, Rick, Steve, Matt; bad news for Lou, Paul, Luke, Tom, Charles, George, John.) In women the effect was reversed, and a stressed back vowel (Laura, Julie, Robin, Susan, Holly) boosted sex appeal, whereas a stressed front vowel (Melanie, Jamie, Jill, Tracy, Ann, Liz, Amy) had the opposite effect—to the author’s disappointment, no doubt.

Here’s the “abstract”:http://www.mit.edu/~perfors/hotornot.pdf for the study (PDF).

Sometimes it’s good to be Nate.