Science Says Kids With These First Names Are More Likely To Be Successful In Their Lives

Parents, take notes!


Choosing a kid’s first name can be an intimidating life decision, and it should be because the names you give to your child can be the first step to their true path to success.

A research from UCLA says that your kid’s first name can do a lot for their bright future. According to Albert Mehrabian, a professor at UCLA, author of Baby Name Report Card: Beneficial and Harmful Baby Names, and the man behind this research, says that giving your children a certain kind of first names can draw people and present them as more respectable and successful at the first meeting with anyone throughout their lives.

He started this research in the early 2000s and after a series of total seven projects that consisted more than 2,000 participants, he concluded a lot of 20 classic good names can have a lasting power. In the study, the participants were presented with 2,845 first names and asked for their reviews and assumptions on those names. At the course of the research, he collected the names that the participants, a.k.a the ‘strangers’, assumed sounded more ambitious, independent, intelligent, assertive, confident and creative.

“There are other connotations names have that parents should consider,” Mehrabian told me, as “success” was “only one of [his] dimensions for rating names.”

Some of the other remaining names were also suggested by the strangers to be a) ethical and caring, b) popular and fun; or c) masculine or feminine.

While there are a few contradictions on the subject, we believe that this short list of name shouldn’t be kept secret from parents or to-be parents. He believes that these 20 names- 10 traditionally for boys and 10 for girls- make it more likely for other people to think that they’re are successful.

The highest-rated names for girls, in terms of succes:

  • Jacqueline
  • Morgan
  • Elizabeth
  • Katherine
  • Victoria
  • Lauraine
  • Susan
  • Catherine
  • Kate
  • Madeleine

The highest rated names for boys, in terms of success:

  • Steven
  • Ross
  • Christopher
  • James
  • Robert
  • David
  • Kenneth
  • Parker
  • Thomas
  • Madison

But what exactly makes these names so connected to success?

A few top names from the list have resonance with successful people throughout the history. All the 20 of the names are Western, even eurocentric. The historic connotations can affect people’s perception of the names to a high extent.  

“When you think of ‘Alexander,’ you think of Alexander the Great; ‘Elizabeth’ and you think of Queen Elizabeth. … [and] the “harshness and softness of sounds, the visual image of a letter and choice of letter at the beginning and end of a name also have an effect.” said Mehrabian in an interview.

Also, the names are more recognizable and have conventional spelling. These names are quite difficult to be shortened to nicknames.

Mehrabian believes that lots of parents make mistakes choosing their child’s first names. Even though the names people chose at the current time might sound creative and fun, it might not add value to the kid’s future, giving them undesirable names.

“I’ve seen parents do just incredible things with their poor children’s names because they were creative and thought they were going to be unique. Believe me, you don’t want to name a child with an unattractive name and have them go through life and suffer the consequences” Mehrabian told Bloomberg last year.

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