Nav: Home

Does your name match your face?

June 08, 2017

People tend to associate round names such as "Bob" and "Lou" with round-faced individuals, and they have an inherent preference for names and faces that go well together. This is according to David Barton and Jamin Halberstadt of the University of Otago in New Zealand. In the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, published by Springer, they investigated the so-called "bouba/kiki effect." It refers to people's tendency to associate rounded objects with names that require rounding of the mouth to pronounce.

In a series of studies Barton and Halberstadt tested whether people's names are judged more suitable when they are congruent in shape with the people they denote. They also investigated whether people whose names match their faces will be judged more positively than people with incongruent names.

In the first experiment, participants ranked which of six suggested names went best with twenty overly exaggerated round or angular male caricatured faces. The participants consistently matched nine of the ten round faces, and eight of the ten angular faces with so-called round (George, Lou) and angular (Pete, Kirk) names, respectively. In a second experiment, using unmanipulated photographs of real male faces, participants assigned shape-congruent names to 14 out of 16 round faces, and 15 out of 16 angular faces. Further studies revealed that participants like another person more when they learn that the person has a name that matches their face, and participants' estimations of others, in fact, diminishes if this is not the case.

To put these findings into practice, Barton and Halberstadt turned to politics. The researchers computed "matching scores" for 158 candidates for the United States Senate, based on independent ratings of the roundness of each candidate's face and name. They found that well-named candidates (those whose faces matched their names) had an advantage. Candidates earned on average 10 more percentage points in their elections when their names fit their faces very well, versus very poorly.

"Those with congruent names earned a greater proportion of votes than those with incongruent names," explains Barton. "The fact that candidates with extremely well-fitting names won their seats by a larger margin - 10 points- than is obtained in most American presidential races suggests the provocative idea that the relation between perceptual and bodily experience could be a potent source of bias in some circumstances."

"Overall, our results tell a consistent story," Halberstadt explains. "People's names, like shape names, are not entirely arbitrary labels. Face shapes produce expectations about the names that should denote them, and violations of those expectations carry affective implications, which in turn feed into more complex social judgments, including voting decisions."
-end-
Reference: Barton, D.N. & Halberstadt, J. (2017). A social Bouba/Kiki effect: A bias for people whose names match their faces, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review DOI: 10.3758/s13423-017-1304-x

Springer

Related Candidates Articles:

Essential oil components can be tested as drug candidates
A research team at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology and the KU Leuven Department of Biology showed that, contrary to generally held belief, most components of essential oils could meet the criteria set for drug candidates.
Social media content matters for job candidates, researchers find
According to researchers at Penn State, job recruiters are less likely to select candidates who appear to be too self-involved or opinionated in their social media posts.
University of Miami team investigates why candidates for cochlear implants rarely get them
University of Miami researchers published a study in JAMA Oncology-Head and Neck Surgery that examines why adult candidates for cochlear implants rarely get them.
Voters agree with polls that favor their candidates
With the presidential election a year away, pollsters will barrage the country with poll questions to get the pulse of the voters about the candidates.
Liver-chip predicts the toxicity of drug candidates across species
Researchers have created a 'Liver-Chip' using Organs-on-Chips technology that can predict and characterize the liver toxicity of various drug candidates and compounds in rats, dogs, and humans.
PolyU develops a new class of antibiotic candidates for fighting against superbugs
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a new class of antibiotic drug candidates which has high potential to be developed into a new generation of antibiotics fighting against multi-drug resistant superbugs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Voters really want presidential candidates to talk more about science
A large majority of Iowans (74 percent) say it is important for the presidential candidates to talk about how science and scientific research will affect their policymaking decisions, but only 22 percent recall them discussing science issues during the past two months.
When considering presidential candidates, age is just a number
A new white paper shows there is no such thing as being too old to be president.
New methods to identify Alzheimer's drug candidates with anti-aging properties
Old age is the greatest risk factor for many diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cancer.
Tracking down microRNA candidates that can contribute to disease
A novel computational tool called ADmiRE extensively annotates human microRNA variants to determine which ones are likely to contribute to or cause diseases.
More Candidates News and Candidates Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.