虽然直接跟人说这名字跟你不像有那么一点不礼貌，不过发表在今年2月《性格与社会心理学杂志》（Journal of Personality and Social Psychology）的一篇文章表明外貌与长相确实有直接关系。
[图片来源: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology]
You go out on a Friday night to meet up with one of your friends and when you arrive they introduce you to the group at dinner. You go around and introduce yourself, “Hi, I'm Sarah,” but as you get to the last person they look at you and say “You don't look like a Sarah, maybe a Jessica maybe but not a Sarah.” You're confused and not sure exactly how to respond to that. Why would she think you look like a different name? What does it mean to look like a different name?
Now it's a little rude to openly tell someone that they don't look like their name but actually in a recent study published in February 2017 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found a correlation between appearance and names.
They found that when people are shown a stranger's face and a choice of five names, they pick the right name about 35 percent of the time. According to experts, that a pretty good percentage, since random chance would be around 20 percent.
In the different studies, the scientists found that people with the same name tended to have similarities around their eyes and corners of their mouth, two key elements in our expressions. Yonat Zwebner, a social psychologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the study speculates that people might be using their facial muscles to conform appearance to name. For example, a person with the name “Joy” might develop a certain look because her parents and society will encourage her to smile a lot since it goes with her name.
Another conclusion from the study was that if you don't pick the right name for a face, you're good at ruling out certain names, ie. Angus for an Asian guy. This study reinforces the idea that your name has a social meaning and can communicate specific impressions about you to the people around you, both positive and negative.
“The study implies that people live up to their given name,” said Zwebner. “The possibility that our name can influence our look, even to a small extent is intriguing.”
So your impolite friend at the start of this article isn't completely wrong that we do make connections between names and appearances. Now your name cannot change your genetic code, like make you taller or shorter or change your skin tone but your name does give others a first impression of you and your personality.
As you look to pick your English name, you have a chance to pick a name that best fits the impression you want to give to the people around you.
For example, if you're more outgoing, choose the name 'Bob' over 'Tim' as the study found that Bobs are expected by society to have a rounder more jovial face than someone named Tim. This assumption could lead to Bobs being more joyful and extroverted to meet that assumption.
Face Shapes for Male Names - found in the study:
Heat Map of Face Shapes for Female Names:
[Photo Credit: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology]
For women, if you're looking to be taken seriously, Katherine is largely considered to be the name of someone who is dependable and capable. These cultural expectations might help Katherines to be more studious and academic which could affect their facial expressions, for example, looking more serious from all their concentrating.
When you're picking your name, be sure to consider the impression it gives to the people around you. Our experts at Best English Name are trained to help you find the name that best fits your personality and goals.