As Prince William and wife Catherine mull over names for their royal offspring, they would do well to heed mounting evidence that a name can influence everything from your school grades and career choice to who you marry and where you live.
Someone named Jacqueline or Steven will generally fare better in life than Latrina or Butch, say researchers, who also point to a phenomenon whereby the world’s fastest man is called Bolt, a TV weather forecaster Sarah Blizzard, and the local librarian Mrs Storey.
“Your name can influence the assumptions that other people make about your character and background, and thus the chances you are given in life,” says Richard Wiseman — a case in point, he’s a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.
“It can also be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. If your name sounds intelligent, successful and attractive, you are more likely to act those things.”
A flurry of studies in recent years have examined names as predictors of success.