Thursday, May 24, 2007
Tim or Bob or Sue or Alice?
I read an article the other day on MSN LiveScience which described a recent study: "Tims don't look anything like Bobs." See: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18805010 . Apparently, cognitive scientist Robin Thomas of Miami University in Ohio found it's easier to recall a 'Bob' that looks like a 'Bob.' Additionally, according to some unknown rule of the universe, some people 'fit' their names and some names match certain types of faces. We've all had the experience of being at a party, where people comment: "Oh, she doesn't look like a Patricia."
Hence, on the right is a Bob, round and doughy.
Scientists don't know why these stereotypes exist, and burning questions remain. Thomas only included American white males in her study. Her conclusions will soon be published in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Here are my further questions:
Does this phenomenon transfer to women?
Does it transfer to other races?
Who is the 'Bob' of the French culture? Pierre? Henri?
What if you do not match your name? Are you socially doomed?
Do people gradually 'grow into' their names? Is this why owners & pets & old married couples start to resemble each other?
Is there ANY chance I might turn in to a Rachelle or a Bambi?
How does an Edgar or a Helga fare in the world?
Most importantly, which one of these Georges would make a good president????
A. or ...........................................B.