Results I do not believe

…an analysis of strike outs (failing to hit the ball three times in a
row) in American baseball from 1913 to 2006 showed that players whose
first or last names began with K suffered significantly more strikeouts
than other players. Why? Because in baseball scoring, K is used to
denote a strikeout – "For players with this initial, the explicitly
negative performance outcome may feel implicitly less aversive," the
researchers said.

Next, an analysis of 15 years of MBA students’
grades at a large American University showed that students with the
initials C or D achieved significantly lower grades than students whose
initials were unrelated to grade scores, and students with the initials
A or B.

Was this due to the students’ self-preference for their
initials or was it the examiners showing the bias? To test this, Nelson
and Simmons, asked hundreds of other undergrads to report their liking
for the different letters of the alphabet. A subsequent analysis of
their exam scores again showed that students with the initials C or D
performed less well, but only if they had previously shown a preference
for these letters. This shows that affection for one’s own initials
really is playing a role in the patterns being observed here.

study showed how far-reaching these effects can be. An analysis of
392,458 lawyers who studied at 170 law schools showed that as the
quality of law schools declined, so too did the proportion of lawyers
with the initials A or B who had attended.

Here is more.  When I think of the letter K, I think of Ted Kluszewski, Harmon Killebrew, and brawny Poles who swing for the fences.  Maybe that’s lame, but I don’t see that names with "S" strike out more often, or that names with "H" hit more home runs.  Maybe "K" has special power, just ask Franz Kafka.  The A and B stuff puzzles me too, but it also doesn’t seem consistent with other parameters on the power of suggestion.  I also would expect the C and D names to do better than average, given all the names lower in the alphabet, at least if there is going to be an effect at all.  Are people whose names start with the letter "B" more likely to be bloggers?

I’m not contesting the raw tabulations but my gut feeling is that the letters in your name correlate with physique or education or IQ in some other way.  One paper is here, I don’t see a lot of controls.

Addendum: Andrew Belman seems puzzled too.  Alex has a related post, he doesn’t feel totally puzzled.


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