Bachelor of Arts
Bianca M. Sumutka
This study was designed to determine whether participants would have better recall for names with phonetic properties that matched a paired personality trait. In other words, phonetically attractive names paired with positive traits and phonetically unattractive names paired with negative traits should have higher rates of recall than names whose phonetic properties did not match a paired personality trait, such as phonetically attractive names paired with negative traits or phonetically unattractive names paired with positive traits. Given names were deemed to be phonetically attractive or unattractive based on the number of sonorants (soft consonant sounds such as l, m, n, and r) or obstruents (hard consonant sounds such as d, t, k, and b) in the emphasized syllable. Names with a high proportion of emphasis on sonorants were considered attractive for females and unattractive for males. Names with a higher proportion of emphasis on obstruents were considered attractive for males and unattractive for females. Participants were presented with sentences pairing one name with an attractive or unattractive personality trait, and later were asked to recall the names when presented with the traits alone. Contrary to the original hypothesis, participants were found to have better recall for names when paired with mismatching traits than when paired with matching traits.
Parks, Ellen D., "Perceived Desirability of Given Names: Identifying a Relationship Between Given Names and Associated Personality Traits" (2007). Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects. 29.
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