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tl;dr The more middle initials you have, the more intelligent people think you are, at least according to this study. A study with 85 college students from a single university is obviously not very conclusive, but it’s interesting to think about.


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    Direct paper link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.2026/abstract

    I wonder if there’s any research on usernames.

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      I don’t have access to the paper, how do they define “simple names”? Is it just names with typical English phonetics or those with only one or two syllables?

      I’m curious how my own name might fit into this model.

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        It seems to refer to orthography, not phonetics.

        I don’t have access to the paper either, but the “simple names” examples from the article are “Amira el-Naggar” and “Lubov Ershova”, which have neither only one or two syllables nor typical English phonetics. What they do have is fairly standard Latin orthography, which is not far from English orthography, and that is because they are transliterations designed to be easy for people who don’t speak the languages in question to read. The non-“simple” names listed were “Czeslaw Ratynska” and “Hur Hye-seong”, which are from languages with highly nonstandard Latin orthography; for example, the second one is Korean, which uses the spelling “eo” for the vowel /ʌ/, which is the STRUT vowel in English.

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        Seems to me that this would be highly culturally biased (which I assume is recognised in the paper, I don’t have access). For example, I don’t think I’m alone among Brits to have the perception of deliberate middle initials as marking someone trying to appear more important than they really are.