“How Much Do You Like Your Name?”

gebauerBefore 2008, there was considerable discussion in some psychological circles about finding simple and valid ways to measure a person’s ‘global self-esteem’. But nowadays psychologists have a new method at their disposal – the NLM. In a set of six experiments, Professor Jochen Eberhard Gebauer, and colleagues Michael Riketta, Philip Broemer and Gregory R. Maio asked participants a disarmingly simple, yet apparently revealing question : “How Much Do You Like Your Name?” They were queried about their ‘name-liking’ not only for their first name and surname, but also both taken together (their full name).

“In addition to showing high test-retest reliability (r=.85), the studies found that Name-Liking was (a) unrelated to impression management, (b) positively related to the Name-Letter-Task, the Self-Esteem IAT, explicit self-esteem measures, and self-reported subjective well-being, (c) more strongly related to explicit measures of global than domain-specific self-esteem, (d) more strongly related to self-esteem judgments made spontaneously as well as under cognitive load, and (e) predicted observer-reported anxiety during an anxiety-inducing interview whereas an explicit measure of self-esteem did not.”

Summing up regarding the Name-Liking-Measure (NLM) :

“To the researcher’s advantage, the measure is very brief, easy to administer and score, reliable and valid.”

You can undertake the test in full here, via professor Gebauer’s website.

see: “How Much Do You Like Your Name?” An Implicit Measure of Global Self-Esteem in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 44, Issue 5, September 2008, Pages 1346–1354. A full draft version is also available here.

BONUS VIDEO:

in which Rowan Sebastian Atkinson interviews Sir Elton Hercules John

MORE research on self-esteem from prof. Gebauer (in conjunction with professor Geoffrey Haddock of Cardiff University)

PREVIOUS Improbable feature on prof. Gebauer (regarding unfortunate first names)

 






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*