Attention all Annas, Alices, Alexandras and Alyssas! Congratulations on getting As in school. And shame on you, Christine, Catherine and Cameron, for making Cs. According to a new study, Newsweek reports, people gravitate toward things that begin with their initials, even when those things are undesirable, like bad grades or a baseball strikeout. Leif Nelson of the UC San Diego, and Joseph Simmons of Yale call these "moniker maladies" and found that students with names that begin with C and D tend to make Cs and Ds; baseball players whose names begin with K strike out at a higher rate; and a guy named Joe is more likely to live in Jonestown than Akron.
The eerie coincidences also held for law schools. Scrutinizing data on 170 law schools and 392,458 lawyers, the researchers found that the higher the school's ranking (by U.S. News & World Report), the higher the proportion of lawyers with the initials A or B. Adlai and Bill are more likely to go to Stanford than Chester and Dwight. (In the study, people with conflicting initials—Douglas Avery—were eliminated from the analysis.) Liking your own name "sabotages success for people whose initials match" the names of negative things such as low grades and strikeouts.
As a D, I find this news rather Depressing. I do live on a street that starts with D, and I do like that initial — it's depraved, delightful, delirious, determined, dishy, delicious, dastardly and divine. But am I really attracted to doughnuts and Devil Dogs? Am I destined to drive a DeLorean? Does B make Britney like booze? Is L the reason Lindsay was a lush? And is Kim Kardashian obligated to be kinky & kooky?
A, My Name is Alice: Moniker Madness [Newsweek]