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Why Using Your Middle Initial Will Make You Sound Smarter

Why Using Your Middle Initial Will Make You Sound Smarter

Want to be seen as an intellectual? Here’s an easy first step: Start using your middle initial in writing. Doing so, a study finds, boosts “positive evaluations of people’s intellectual capacities and achievements.”

The study was run by researchers Wijnand A.P. van Tilburg and Eric R. Igou, who appear to be taking their own advice. The investigators reached their conclusions after giving subjects a scientific article attributed to, variously, David Clark, David F. Clark, David F.P. Clark, or David F.P.R. Clark, the New Republic reports.

David F.P.R. Clark fared best in subjects’ assessments of the author’s ability, while David F. Clark still beat David Clark. Also helpful, when it comes to names: ease of pronunciation, another study finds. Subjects were given trivia statements (like “giraffes are the only mammals that cannot jump”), which were associated with various names. The statements linked to names considered easier to pronounce were more trusted by subjects, Scientific American reports. A study on company names had similar results. Firms with easier-to-pronounce names apparently do better in the stock market, the magazine notes. (One name you definitely want to avoid? God.)

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1:48AM PST on Dec 20, 2014

Thank you!

1:30PM PDT on Aug 22, 2014

If it works; it is worth an attempt.

3:39PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Barbara L. Education does not always equal intellegence. Others, it seems, are super intelligent but have no common sense!

3:50PM PDT on May 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

2:55AM PDT on May 15, 2014

Thank you :)

6:05PM PDT on May 11, 2014

All this proves or supports is that people are basically dumb.

12:48PM PDT on May 11, 2014


9:13AM PDT on May 11, 2014

I don't have a middle name :)
it's not THAT common where I come from. and my mum wanted it simple, which I very much appreciate. I don't need a middle name.

5:43AM PDT on May 11, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

8:56PM PDT on May 10, 2014

That would work unless your initials happen to spell something funny or bizarre.

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