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George Alexander Louis: What’s In A Name?


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My latest at The Guardian is on the psychology of first name choices – a timely topic, as the royal family has just announced the name of the latest heir to the throne: George Alexander Louis. Read on to find out why that choice was fairly predictable.

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare has Juliet ask in Act II, Scene II of Romeo and Juliet. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” she says – arguing that a name is merely a label, and a label does not change the essence of a thing.

It’s a lovely sentiment, but modern psychological science comes to a different conclusion.

For many in the UK, and indeed around the world, one name that matters a great deal is that of William and Kate’s newborn baby. On Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported that the betting agency Ladbrokes had taken 50,000 bets as the Duchess of Cambridge went into labour. Favourite names were Alexandra for a girl – no longer relevant – and James or George for a boy.

Read the rest over at Guardian Science: William and Kate: whatever you do, don’t call him Kevin.

Image via Flickr/Beacon Radio.

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Steve926 6:51 am 07/25/2013

    Anybody else immediately think of Seinfeld when they read the name?

    Link to this

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