Researchers led by Dr Ruth Mayo and PhD candidate Yonat Zwebner at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined whether a person's appearance can be influenced by their given name.
耶路撒冷希伯来大学的博士Ruth Mayo和博士候选人Yonat Zwebner带领研究人员研究了一个人的外表是否会受到名字的影响。
To do this, they recruited independent observers and showed them color headshot photographs of complete strangers. Then they presented a list of names to the observers and asked them to choose the stranger's real name based on his or her facial appearance.
In a series of studies (now reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), the observers repeatedly beat the odds1
of correctly identifying a person's name based on their facial appearance alone.
For example, upon looking at the face and considering four possible names -- Jacob, Dan, Josef or Nathaniel -- observers correctly chose "Dan" 38 percent of the time, significantly above the 25 percent chance level of a random2
This effect held true even when the researchers controlled for age and ethnicity.Supporting the notion of a self-fulfilling prophecy, the researchers found that observers beat the odds of correctly guessing a person's name even when they were only allowed to see their hairstyle. This suggests that people may choose the hairstyle that fits a stereotype3
associated with their name.
The researchers confirmed that observers in a second country and culture were also able to beat the odds. However while observers were good at matching faces to names in their own culture, they were not good at doing so in a foreign culture. This supports the idea that name stereotypes4
are important when matching faces with names.
The researchers also found that observers are less good at guessing the given name of people who use a nickname exclusively. This indicates that a person's appearance is affected5
by their name only if they use it, and not if it simply appears on a birth certificate.