Mr Smith, Your Promotion Awaits

By Bizclik Editor

Good thing the Aussie Alice in Wonderland actress Mia Wasikowska has talent on the big screen: in the corporate world, her surname wouldn’t do her any favours.

In the first study of its kind, two researchers discovered that the easier it is to pronounce your name, the more likely you are to succeed in business, attract votes in a political race, and better your chances at becoming a partner at your law firm.

The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, outline the findings of the University of Melbourne’s Dr Simon Laham and New York University’s Dr Adam Alter. Their research used a range of names across Anglo, Asian, Western and Eastern European backgrounds.


“The effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce,” Dr Laham told the Herald Sun.

Their discovery isn’t limited to people: according to Asian Scientist, Dr Alter also pointed out that financial stocks with simpler names tend to outperform those with more difficult ones once they appear on the market.

“People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments,” said Dr Alter.

Perhaps this study will change the way people view one another across borders – or just across the boardroom.

“Such an appreciation may help us de-bias our thinking, leading to fairer, more objective treatment of others,” said Dr Laham.


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