People with simple names enjoy quicker career advancement because hard-to-pronounce names inspire negative reactions from superiors, a study has found.
Researchers found that a "name pronunciation effect" played a major role in how people were perceived by colleagues and friends.
The team of American and Australian scientists concluded that the easier a person"s name was to say, the better their success was in the workplace and the quicker they were promoted.
Their study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, also found a simple name improved people"s ability to make new friends.
Dr Simon Laham, from Melbourne University, who led the study, said people with simple names were generally judged more positively.
“The effect is not due merely to the length of a name or how foreign-sounding or unusual it is, but rather how easy it is to pronounce," he said.
Dr Adam Alter, a co-author from New York University’s Stern School of Business, added: “People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments.”
In their study, mainly conducted in the field, the team investigated the way names can influence a person’s impressions and decision making.
They looked at dozens of surnames from different nationalities of about 500 university student volunteers from Anglo, Asian, and European backgrounds and a field of 500 lawyers in America.
The team found that people with more "pronounceable" names were more likely to win political office. Meanwhile, they found that American lawyers with easier sounding names were promoted faster within their law firms.
The findings add weight to previous research which suggested that company stocks with simpler names outperformed more complex business names immediately after they appear on the market.