Implicit Egotism

by | Mar 13, 2017

“Implicit Egotism” is a psychological theory that suggests  we prefer people, places and things that are like ourselves and our subconscious directs our choices based on what is connected to us.  Here are some interesting examples:

  • Studies have shown that people are more attracted to others whose names start with the same letter as our own names.  James is more likely to prefer Jennifer over Gretchen.  The same is true for last names, someone with the name Smith is more likely to be attracted to a Simmonds than a Jones.
  • Other research suggests that we are drawn to careers that resemble our names.  Dentists are more likely to be named Denise or Dennis and lawyers are more likely to be named Laura or Laurence than chance would dictate.
  • A study from Yale found that kids whose names start with the letter “A” have on average higher grade point averages than kids whose names start with “C” or “D”.
  • We also prefer numbers in our birthday as a study found that if you had a “2” in your birthday (month, day or year) you were more likely to live at an address with a 2 in it or a city such as “Twin Falls” or “Two Oaks.”
  •  If you are named after a saint (such as Paul, Mark or John) you are more likely to live in a city with “Saint” in its name, such as St. Louis or St. Paul.
  • Owners  of roofing companies are more likely to have a name starting with R while owners of hardware companies are more likely to have names beginning with H.

All these instances implicit egotism operate at the subconscious and suggest that many decisions we “think” we are making are actually influenced by our “unthinking” subconscious.

Sources and Fun Reading: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-social-thinker/200907/do-opposites-really-attract and  http://persweb.wabash.edu/facstaff/hortonr/articles%20for%20class/pelham,%20mirenberg,%20and%20jones%20implicit%20egotism.pdf and https://newrepublic.com/article/116140/psychologists-say-our-names-affect-what-careers-we-choose

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