Bad Names for Online Dating

New research by Jochen E. Gebauer and two co-authors, summarized in the BPS Research Digest, analyzed data from a German dating website and found that an unpopular name will lessen your chances of getting a date in the online dating universe:

The main finding here was that people with unfashionable names like Kevin or Chantal were dramatically more likely to be rejected by other users (i.e. other users tended to choose not to contact them). A user with the most popular name (Alexander) received on average double the number of contacts as someone with the least popular name (Kevin) … However, the researchers also found that people with unpopular names were more likely to smoke, had lower self-esteem and were less educated. What’s more, the link between the popularity of their name and these life outcomes was mediated by the amount of rejection they suffered on the dating site – as if rejection on the site were a proxy for the amount of social neglect they’d suffered in life.

Apparently, Kevin really is more than a name.

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  1. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt says:

    I suggest “funny names” be forever banned from Freakonomics Blogs.

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  2. GRC says:

    Amusingly enough, Kevin and Alexander were the two finalists when we were picking names for our son.

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  3. Allie says:

    Names play a big role in our society. People who are famous change their names to become more popular and many people who do not like their first name go by a different name. As much as we do not think it, many people judge off of names. Names give us a first look at a person, even if the person’s personality is not reflected in their name.

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  4. god says:

    My mom named me god with a lower case g. Ruined my life. Thanks mom.

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  5. RGJ says:

    True story. Back before it was funny because Letterman named his dog “Bob”, I named my labrador retriever “Kevin.”

    Got a lot of laughs.

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  6. Katie Daniel says:

    I think all of the fuss about the name affecting the person is not true. The research is very far fetched, and I think it is just a statistic to get people worked up. The fact that the name Kevin wasn’t very popular in Germany is a very important fact we need to focus on. If that research had been in America and a popular German name had been used I’m sure the same results would have occured.

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  7. buck says:

    Tell me about it. I get told to buck off more than i can count. and I can count really well.

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  8. Scott Andrew Hutchins says:

    Really, in Germany, Biblical names are associated with the educated? Except for the common ones, Biblical names suggest Bible-belt hillbilly in the U.S., not educated.

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