Do Noble Names Enable Valued Vocations?

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Originally posted on April 10, 2014.

A footnote to the name-vocation analyses:  Who would you rather hire for a managerial (rather than employee) role—John Knight or George Cook?  Jill Prince or Judy Shepherd?  David King or Donald Farmer? Helen Duke or Hazel Baker?

Raphael Silberzahn and Eric Luis Uhlmann studied nearly a quarter million German names corresponding to high and lower status occupations, such as Kȍnig (King) and Koch (cook).  Those with names linked with high status occupations were modestly more often appointed to high status roles.  Silberzahn and Uhlmann  speculate that the name association may have made those with high status names seem more worthy.

As former U.S. President Jimmy Carter famously said, “Life isn’t fair."

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About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see