Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=946249
 
 

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Moniker Maladies: When Names Sabotage Success


Leif D. Nelson


University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Joseph P. Simmons


University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

March 17, 2007


Abstract:     
People like their names enough to unconsciously approach consciously-avoided name-resembling outcomes. Baseball players avoid strikeouts, but players with strikeout-signifying K-initials strike out more than others (Study 1). All students want A's, but C- and D-initialed students find initial-resembling outcomes less aversive and achieve lower GPAs (Study 2), particularly if they like their initials (Study 3). Because lower GPAs lead to lesser graduate schools, C- and D-initialed students go to lower ranked law schools than their A- and B-initialed counterparts (Study 4). Finally, in an experimental design, participants perform worse when a consolation prize shares their first initial (Study 5). These findings provide striking evidence that unconscious wants can insidiously undermine conscious pursuits.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: unconscious attitudes, implicit attitudes

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Date posted: November 22, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Leif D. and Simmons, Joseph P., Moniker Maladies: When Names Sabotage Success (March 17, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=946249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.946249

Contact Information

Leif D. Nelson (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )
545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
Joseph P. Simmons
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )
3733 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6374
United States
University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )
Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
HOME PAGE: http://opimweb.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty.cfm?id=1666

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