What’s In An Initial?

Wanna be perceived as more intelligent and capable? According to PSMag, Science has got you covered:

Use your middle initial. Better yet, use two or three, if your parents gifted you with multiple middle names. “People’s middle initials have a particular and powerful effect on how people are perceived by others,” argue psychologists Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg of the University of Southampton and Eric R. Igou of the University of Limerick. …

Follow-up studies with other groups of University of Limerick students confirmed this bias and strongly suggested it was linked to the perceived status of the writer. One found participants were more eager to join a team if many of its members had middle initials—but only if the competition involved intellectual pursuits (a quiz about literature, science, art, and history) rather than athletic ones.

That’s so funny, Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg, how you ran a whole study to discover that people think you’re super smart and that everyone should do what you do. Eric R. Igou is doing his best to keep up.

Now I want to know more. What about people who use their first initials, like F. Scott Fitzgerald? Apparently some folks at least see that as a rich/smart person thing to do. Or only their initials, like I.B. Singer? (I.P. Freely comes off as a bit less wise.) Anyway, assuming Science is right, it’s fortunate that Ben and I named our daughter Lara Calliope Galynker Bloom. She is SET in the middle initials department. You’re welcome, honey.



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