I’m a big fan of Richard Wiseman’s Quirkology site – it’s all about psychology and perception and why human beings are so weird. And it’s fun! These are the people who brought you the World’s Funniest Joke and the amazing Color Changing Card Trick video (you really have to watch this one). Their research into jokes, lying, observation, etc. is all based on experiments conducted with average people all over the world.
The latest experiment is about names – personal names, and what they mean to their owners:
Does your first name influence your life? To help find out, Prof Richard Wiseman has teamed up with The Edinburgh International Science Festival to carry out a unique experiment.
It’s a set of six simple questions about your own name, and how you would react and judge people based only on their names. I just took it and I was surprised by my own biases and preconceptions – I had to think hard about why I assigned certain personality traits to certain names. For me, some are certainly based on personal experience (Katie will always be more intelligent than Caroline), but for others – who knows? Why do I think Jack is luckier than Andrew? Note that the experiment is run out of the UK, so there’s a slight leaning toward British names, in my opinion. I did sign up to get the results of the experiment when it’s done.
Go here to take the Name Experiment. It’s fun! It’s science! It Quirkology!