A simple name could get you promoted

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  • People with easy-to-say names are more likely to climb the career ladder - and make friends

    Having a simple name may not be exciting, but it could work in your favour when climbing the career ladder.

    Researchers found that name pronunciation plays a major role in the way people are perceived by colleagues and friends – and that those with more complicated names suffer at work.

    The team of American and Australian scientists claim that the easier a person’s name is to say, the better their success in the work place and the more likely they are to get promoted.

    They refute the idea that the study revealed racial discrimination.

    ‘The effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is,’ says lead researcher Dr Simon Laham, from Melbourne University. ‘But rather how easy it is to pronounce.’

    Co-author, Dr Adam Alter, from New York University’s Stern School of Business, says: ‘People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments.’

    Studying the surnames of 500 university students from Anglo, Asian and European backgrounds and 500 American lawyers, the team found people with more pronounceable names were more likely to win political office, while the lawyers with easier-to-say names were promoted faster.

    The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, concludes that a name your friends and colleagues do not stumble over is key to success.


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