CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot.
New research out of the Harvard Business Review suggests we actually look like our names.
Researchers showed faces to people and asked them to guess the person’s name out of four choices.
The researchers thought participants would pick right about 20 to 25 percent of the time given the laws of chance, but actually the subjects chose the correct name 25 to 40 percent of the time.
The team also tested whether a computer that’s been given some examples of names and faces can correctly identify a person when presented with two options. The machine chose right 54 percent to 64 percent of the time after about 100,000 tests, “significantly” higher than 50-50.
Professor Anne-Laure Sellier told the Review that humans have long been “strongly motivated to belong to a tribe and be recognized it,” and may be doing subconscious things to look like their names.
“If you’re a Scott, there’s something about you that betrays it,” she said. “It’s tattooed across your face.”