Saturday, 22 March 2008

Surname Experiment

I do enjoy reading up on psychological experiments and they do throw up some very interesting and controversial results so i am greatly looking forward to The Edinburgh International Science Festival and mainly the results of the
question "Do people who have a surname that began with a letter nearer the start of the alphabet more successful in life than those with names towards the end?
Splitting the alphabet in half to A-M and N-Z, removing the multiple entries and finger counting from some lists of high achievers surnames makes some interesting reading.

................................A-M.....N-Z
Politics
UK Prime Ministers........32.......16
US Presidents..............36.......12
Present UK Cabinet.......24........5

Sport
England Football Squad...21.......9
100m Olympic Champs....17.......7

Entertainment
Female Oscar Winners ...42.....23
Male Oscar Winners.......55.....21

Music top 10
Best selling Female.......5/10... 5/10
Best selling male.........7/10.....3/10

Hmmmmm. I will have to sit and ponder exactly why but it seems true that those that have a surname beginning with a letter closer to the start of the alphabet ARE more successful.
I knew i would one day regret that proposal from David Aaronovitch.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Did they define "success"? While they seem to cover many fields of endeavor, they also only count success as the people that have achieved "fame". No, best taxi drivers, or best teacher, or best mom.

Q

PS - OMG. I hate the word verification that has become standard issue for blogs. Check out this monstrosity... xuypvkev

Lucy said...

This is my own snapshot taken from lists available on the internet. The proper experiment includes a far greater dataset and including all walks of life from heads of departments to all sorts of managers.

Maybe there are just more surnames from the first half of the alphabet.

I have turned off word verification a few times but i obviously need to keep going back and doing it.

Anonymous said...

Lucy,

Word verifcation is fact of life thanks to bot software. But do they have to be so damn long and obtuse?

I think they have a "conservative monitor" built in that produces longer and more difficult codes for the likes of me...

Q

ps - vhnjurh

David G said...

Lucy, this is to let you know that from now on my name is David Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaab.

I have to get this monkey off my back somehow! Thanks for the tip.

And Happy Easter.

Stephen said...

Generally speaker, letters toward the end of the alphabet are generally much less commonly used.