I recently read an article about something called “name-letter preference.” According to several research studies, people are more likely to favor (like better) and choose those things that begin with their initials (the first letter of their first or last name). This can mean that they buy brands (a company’s name for a product) that starts with the same letter: Manuel may be more likely to go to McDonald’s than to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Surprisingly, these studies show name-letter preference for other important things: There are more women named Mildred in the state of Milwaukee and there are more men named Dennis who are dentists (doctors who treat teeth).
Researchers have also found that grades are affected by this phenomenon (fact; situation), too. According to the article: “Using 15 years of grade point averages for business-school graduates, the researchers found that students whose name begin with C or D earned slightly lower GPAs than those whose names begin with A or B…”
In U.S. schools, grade point averages (GPAs) are computed from letter grades: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. The article points out, however, that the differences are not very big. For GPAs, the gap (difference) is very small–3.34 versus 3.36–but it still exists. Critics say that these differences are too small to matter and that if researchers look hard enough, they can always find evidence for phenomenon such as this.
If a name-letter preference really exists, I’m very glad my name is Lucy and not Fiona!