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Guess Why Blue Ivy Will Find It Easier to Get Promoted at Work

Blue Ivy, work promotions
Thinkstock/Jemal Countess, Getty Images

We can already see a bright future for Beyonce and Jay-Z’s newborn Blue Ivy. But it turns out she was given an advantage to succeeding in the work force (and it’s not what you’re thinking). A new study finds that people with simple, easy-to-pronounce names are more likely to be favored for a promotion at work.

Professors at the University of Melbourne and New York University did an analysis using a range of names from Anglo, Asian, Western and Eastern European backgrounds to determine how the pronunciation of names can influence impression formation and decision-making.

“The effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce,” said Simon Laham, the study’s lead author from the University of Melbourne.

The researchers found that in particular, attorneys with more pronounceable names rose more quickly to higher positions within their firm hierarchies, but New York University’s Adam Alter, who conducted the law firm analysis, said that it’s likely the effect also exists in other industries and in many everyday contexts.

“People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments,” Alter said.

“It’s important to appreciate the subtle biases that shape our choices and judgments about others,” added Laham. “Such an appreciation may help us de-bias our thinking, leading to fairer, more objective treatment of others.”


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