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Monday, June 18, 2012

the power of a Name - What brings luck or otherwise !!

Folks, it was P&D time – the assessment of the past year’s performance would have left you basking in glory, self-satisfaction and more importantly added money or for some, introspection in to what went wrong in not getting that all important good rating ! – was it the work, was it the opportunity, were it you or your boss – what did that ?  Many a times, people feel that despite dog work, one seldom gets recognized while some have it so easy; recognition, reward, moving up the ladder – all coming so easily…….. Life is never easy or the same  !?!?!

There sure would be occasions at the Office, when you feel that despite all the trouble, things do not happen the way you want them to be. Life is a race – but not necessarily that the person running ahead started from the starting block nor at the same time nor had the same handicap – may be they did with more struggle or had started much earlier. One should only worry when things which ought to happen do not; not for what happen to others.

All of us have ‘names’, yes Names… A Name is a word or term used for identification.  They can bring identity to a person, class or category of things….. even horses and ships are named in elaborate ceremonies. A name that is considered common in one place could be unique in another.  From ancient times, names have been thought to be powerful and influence one’s life.  

In Srivaishanvaite philosophy, naming the new born is very important.  Periyazhwaar in his ‘Periyazhwaar Thirumozhi’  (Nankam Pathu – Aaram Thirumozhi) devotes 10 songs on the need to name the children after Sriman Narayanan – those who are named after Maha Vishnu will be bestowed with all goodness and their parents will not go to hell is a firm belief.  That is for the believer.

A rose by another name will smell as good – what is in a name one might tend to ask, away from the religion.- and by naming a Mango tree something else, the yield would never be bananas or coconuts but believers would tend to believe that it would yield better mangoes. !!

Daily Mail (way back in Feb 2012) wrote of  a theory on ‘ Why having a name that's easy to pronounce could propel you up the career ladder !’  It is no little perception but a theory based on the research, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, which has  found that it's not just in the office that people with easy-to-say names do well, it also discovered that it helped in the political world.

So, if you are still wondering why you did not get the recognition, you thought that you richly deserved, or if you're always being passed over for promotion, then there might finally be a solution... change your name. Dr Simon Laham from the University of Melbourne which carried out the study, said their were subtle biases that we are not aware of that affect our decisions.  To him based on his studies, people with a name that is more easily pronounced have better prospects of climbing the career ladder, a study as found.

Researchers looked at how the way names are said can influence impressions and decision making.  'Research findings revealed that 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.  'It is important to appreciate the subtle biases that shape our choices and judgments about others. Such an appreciation may help us de-bias our thinking, leading to fairer, more objective treatment of others.'  Their research means that rather than their technological wizardry, the success of the likes of Bill Gates and Larry Page could actually be down to their names.  However, the success of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg shows that there are exceptions to the rule.

Dr Adam Alter from the New York University Stern School of Business which also took part in the study said; 'People simply aren't aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments.'  It is not Office alone, following  a mock ballot, candidates with easier names were found to be more likely to win an election race than those without.  In law, attorneys with more pronounceable names rose more quickly to superior positions in their firms based on a study of 500 first and last names of U.S. lawyers.  Researchers conducted studies both in lab settings and in a natural environment using a range of names from Anglo, Asian, and Western and Eastern European backgrounds.  This research builds on Dr Alter’s earlier work, which suggests that financial stocks with simpler names tend to outperform similar stocks with complex names immediately after they appear on the market.

Well, I am a strong non-believer of many things and this ‘name theory’ sure would top my list…… still, it makes a very interesting reading though.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Based on the article :

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