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What's in a Name? Persuasion Perhaps

Randy Garner

Sam Houston State University

Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2005

Four studies demonstrate the potential influence of name similarity on perceptions of similarity to oneself in general, liking and compliance. Some participants received a scenario in which the protagonist's name was similar to their own. These participants indicated that the character was more similar to themselves, reported greater liking for the person, and expressed more willingness to comply with a request for help, than control participants did. In addition, the persuasive influence of name similarity on questionnaire return rates indicated that both undergraduates and college professors completed and returned questionnaires more frequently if the name on the cover letter was similar to their own. The influence of name similarity was independent of name familiarity. The importance of name similarity in eliciting overt behavioral action is discussed.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Persuasion, Compliance, Name Similarity, Name Familiarity, Influence

JEL Classification: M30, M31

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Date posted: April 9, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Garner, Randy, What's in a Name? Persuasion Perhaps. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=527162

Contact Information

Randy Garner (Contact Author)
Sam Houston State University ( email )
1803 Ave I
Huntsville, TX 77341
United States
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